Defense requests delay in IU music school attack hearing; prosecution objects

·2 min read

The lawyer for a man who attacked a 13-year-old girl at an IU violin camp now charged with plotting to kill people he blames for his conviction wants a three-month delay in the case.

The Feb. 9 evidentiary hearing already has been postponed once; it was originally scheduled for Jan. 14 in Monroe Circuit Court.

The hearing is meant to determine if Dongwook Ko's eight-year house arrest for stabbing the girl in the summer of 2019 should be converted to a jail sentence because he violated the terms of the agreement by getting arrested on a felony charge.

What to know: Bloomington stabbing incident at 2019 summer music camp led to murder-for-hire plot

The hearing in the local case is tied to a pending conspiracy to commit murder case in Clay County. Ko, who is 19, was being held at the Clay County Jail on an immigration hold when the alleged murder conspiracy was uncovered.

Because Ko pleaded guilty to a felony in the music school attack, criminal confinement with injury, he was to be deported to South Korea, where he is a legal resident. Ko has lived in the United States since he was a child. His mother came to Bloomington a decade ago to study at Indiana University.

In a motion filed Jan. 20, Indianapolis lawyer John L. Tompkins lists several reasons for requesting another delay. One was pending mental health analysis in the Clay County case for Ko, who underwent extensive mental health and brain testing in the case of the music school attack.

"The mental health evaluations requested in (the Clay County case) are also relevant to both Mr. Ko’s defense and possible sentencings in both cases," Tompkins' motion states.

"Conducting a hearing in this matter prior to Mr. Ko having the opportunity to gather evidence to defend against an alleged violation is prejudicial and a due process violation."

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Tompkins' motion mentions audio and video recordings from the alleged murder plot "that are needed to defend Mr. Ko" in both cases.

Monroe County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Kehr said the initial four-week delay was sufficient time for the defense to prepare for the hearing. "The state is ready to proceed with the evidentiary hearing as scheduled," he wrote in an objection filed on Monday.

Monroe Circuit Judge Darcie Fawcett, who sentenced Ko to house arrest, recused herself from the case without explanation. It's been transferred to Monroe Circuit Judge MaryEllen Diekhoff's court. It's up to her to rule on Tompkins' 90-day extension request.

Contact reporter Laura Lane at, 812-331-4362 or 812-318-5967.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: Lawyer seeks delay in Indiana University Dongwook Ko hearing

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