ANDERSON – Despite objections by defense attorneys, the murder trial in connection with the 2017 fatal shooting of Montez McCloud will start on Tuesday.

James Stewart, 31, of Anderson is accused of killing McCloud on May 9, 2017. According to police, McCloud, 25, died after being shot nine times with a .22-caliber rifle.

Madison Circuit Court Division 6 Judge Mark Dudley on Wednesday denied a motion filed by defense attorneys Tracy Carillo and Jeff Lockwood to have Deputy Prosecutor Daniel Kopp recused from being the lead attorney for the state in the case. The motion states that, on Aug. 21 during the deposition of Anderson Police Department Detective Doug Stanton, Kobb hand-delivered a thumb drive asking that a copy be made and to modify the security camera footage.

The defense attorneys contended that Kopp could be called as a potential witness as it pertains to the custody trail of evidence.

“Allowing Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kopp to combine the roles of advocate and witness would pose a substantial risk of confusing and misleading the jury, as well as enhancing the importance and credibility of Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kopp,” the denied motion states.

Judge Dudley on Friday denied Carillo and Lockwood’s request for an interlocatory appeal.

Jury selection is set for Tuesday with the presentation of evidence expected to begin Wednesday.

McCloud went to a house in the 1700 block of Jefferson Street in May 2017 to get his cellphone from his girlfriend, according to a probable cause affidavit filed by Anderson police.

McCloud and his girlfriend argued, joined by the mother of Stewart’s child. One of the women notified Stewart about the disagreement.

According to the police affidavit, Stewart was carrying a .22-caliber rifle when he walked out the front door of his house and shot McCloud.

McCloud died at the scene, said then-Madison County Coroner Marian Dunnichay.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.

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