The attorney for Charles Cook on Friday filed a motion to dismiss the charges against his client, citing state law that demands a speedy trial.
The 65-year-old Cook is charged with criminal homicide and robbery in the December 1991 shooting death of 76-year-old Myrtle McGill at her home along South 6th Street in Indiana. He was a drifter who showed up, investigators say, “by happenstance” in Indiana after busing across the state to avoid detention in a halfway house. Cook was identified as the suspect in 2007 based on DNA found on a cigarette butt found in McGill’s car, which investigators say he stole and abandoned in Pittsburgh after the shooting. He was finally located in Minnesota in October of 2016 and extradited to Indiana the following March.
Attorney Aaron Ludwig, who was appointed in September to represent Cook, bases his claim for dismissal on Criminal Code Rule 600(G), which requires the court to consider whether the prosecution exercised due diligence, and whether the circumstances causing the delay of trial were beyond the prosecutors’ control. The law states, “If, at any time, it is determined that the Commonwealth did not exercise due diligence, the court shall dismiss the charges and discharge the defendant.”
Cook first notified the court on August 21st that he desired to filed a Rule 600 claim.