Judge dismisses lawsuit against one in Spierer case

Lauren Spierer

The parents of missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer lost one of the three cases they thought would help them find out what happened to their daughter two-and-a-half years ago.

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against one of the three men who were with Spierer the night she disappeared to make those men talk.

Judge Tanya Walton Pratt dismissed the case against Michael Beth. Beth is the man who found Spierer on his couch and walked her down the hall to a party in hopes of finding someone who could give her a ride home.

Judge Pratt says she will rule on the remaining cases against Corey Rossman and Jay Rosenbaum by the end of this year.@

The cases are being watched very closely in Bloomington.

If you are from Bloomington or have a student who attends IU you can tell something is missing here.

While the absence of Lauren Spierer missing posters in town is noticeable, it is not complete. In fact, a few places like The Bluebird have kept their posters up and it is not the only business to do so.

The barber pole in front of Ward's Downtown Barber Shop has been spinning for 38 years. He has a lot of pictures up and all have a story behind them, including the one he decided to keep up after all the others outside were taken down.

"It's just because I feel sorry for her parents.@I know they loved her. I've seen her on TV. I've seen her, she would be wiping tears out of her eyes anyway," Hyscel Ward observed sitting in his downtown Bloomington shop.

Spierer has been missing since June 3, 2011.@The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Beth, Corey Rossman, and Jay Rosenbaum.@All three asked the case against them to be dismissed.@Monday, Judge Pratt only dismissed the case against Beth.

Defense attorney Greg Garrison hit several times on the point that Beth could not be held responsible, because Spierer walked away.

"That is what was pled. When you separate things out, the fact of the matter is she walked away. Nobody knew what happened to her after that," Garrison said.

The judge also made a point that Beth provided no alcohol to Spierer the night she disappeared.

"That is true. He is a stranger to all of that. He had nothing to do with the party, with the goings on that evening. He just came home and there she was," Garrison said. "You got to do a lot more than be a nice guy. On public policy, that would do a lot to dissuade anybody from rendering assistance for anybody on the side of the road, gets lost in the street. You dissuade folks from being involved at all by punishing someone who decides later they didn't do enough."

Eyewitness News spoke by phone with Spierer's father, Robert, after the ruling to dismiss the suit against Beth. He said the family has no comment and is anxiously awaiting the decisions on the suits against Rossman and Rosenbaum. Pratt is expected to rule on those suits before the end of the year.

Ward doesn't know anything about the hearing Monday in Indianapolis. He just knows Lauren Spierer is missing, so her picture is still up.

"How long do you plan to keep that picture up?" Ward was asked.

"I told you, until I die," he replied.

People still talk about Lauren Spierer in Bloomington, but in different ways. Some talk about her case in terms of safety.

"I think it's safety and people are, like, telling their friends not to walk alone, they need to be careful and also questions about if it will be figured out," said Kimberly Elsenbroek.

"Yeah, I've heard about people refusing to talk about it being unresolved and there is information out, there is people...I don't know," said Alexandra Mullins.