court gavel

Trial has been delayed again for a Rossiter man charged in a fiery fatal crash in July 2018 at a landmark gas station between Indiana and Marion Center.

James Eugene Brown, 34, is charged with multiple counts, including homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, stemming from the crash at Pikel’s Top Tier Fuels service station that claimed the life of gas station attendant Melissa Myers, 52, of Commodore.

He was to go on trial next Tuesday before Judge Thomas Bianco, but the proceedings have been moved to March 23 before Judge William Martin.

Brown was initially to go on trial Aug. 19, but a delay was granted at the request of the Indiana County District Attorney’s office.

At that time, Bianco ruled that Brown had to be released from the Indiana County Jail, and he reduced Brown’s bond from $250,000 monetary to $50,000 unsecured. There are conditions. Brown must not move his residence from a Brickell Road address in Rossiter; cannot operate a motor vehicle; must abstain from alcohol, illegal substances and non-prescribed drugs; and cannot leave the geographic area of Indiana and Jefferson counties without permission. He also is not to have contact with witnesses in the case nor with members of the victim’s family.

State police at Indiana said Brown smoked marijuana and took heroin before his northbound car jumped a curb at the Rayne Township service station, plowed through the fuel pumps and slammed sideways into the building where Myers was trapped.

His public defender, William L. Stephens Jr., has sought to suppress evidence in the case, but most of those motions to quash have been denied, along with a motion for a change of venue for the trial.