Less than two weeks before the proceedings are set to begin, the special judge assigned to preside over the trial of Kosciusko County Sheriff Aaron Rovenstine withdrew from the case Thursday citing health concerns.
The notice stated the court has been advised that both the prosecution and defense have reached an agreement as to who will succeed Roberts in the case, but that person wasn’t publicly identified.
Jury selection was scheduled to begin April 3 in Kosciusko County Circuit Court. There was no indication Thursday if the trial would have to be rescheduled for the second time.
In February, the trial was delayed minutes before jury selection was to begin as Rovenstine’s attorneys argued that the special prosecutor on the case should be removed because of an alleged failure to follow procedures. The allegation was cleared up and the trial was rescheduled for April 3.
Rovenstine has been charged with felony bribery, intimidation, assisting a criminal and official misconduct in that he allegedly accepted $40,000 in bribes. Rovenstine allegedly provided special favors to a county jail inmate and reportedly threatened a local police detective with retaliation for launching an investigation into the inmate’s background.