Hamilton Co. drops assault charge against former Carmel students


David MacAnally/Eyewitness News

Hamilton County - There is a change in the charges against two of the former Carmel High School basketball players charged in an alleged bus assault against a fellow student.

Battery charges have been dropped by the Hamilton County prosecutor against Brandon Hoge and Robert Kitzinger in the case.

It's part of a court jurisdiction issue. The same battery charges dropped in Hamilton County will be refiled in Hendricks County where the alleged incident took place on a team bus following a basketball game last January.

All other charges filed against Hoge and Kitzinger in Hamilton County relating to an alleged incident in a locker room at Carmel High School remain.

Statement from attorney Jim Crum:

"Today, the State of Indiana, via the Hamilton County prosecutor's office filed a Motion to Dismiss Count 3 of the indictment filed against Brandon Hoge, which is the count involving the alleged B misdemeanor battery on the school bus. This was a necessary and agreed upon Motion that will now allow this case to move forward without further obstacles. It is anticipated that the charge will be refiled in Hendricks County, as the parties' believe that is the proper venue. This action is being taken upon consent of the parties involved in this matter only, and currently has no affect on the battery or other charges pending against the other boys accused. We believe it is in the best interest of all involved to allow this matter to move forward, rather than allow further delay, and today's filing should accomplish that goal."

IU Law professor Fran Watson says if the cases stayed in Hamilton County, the defendants could have been off the hook.

"At the conclusion of presentation of the state's case there was no ecidence that showed tha the incident happened in Hamilton County then there wouldn't be jurisdiction. There would be  issues then about whether you can retry the case becauise you can't be tried twice for the same act."

The cases against the four former players for incidents against other students in the high school locker room will stay in Hamilton County.

They were not affected by Thursday's move.