An Indiana councilman facing murder and federal drug charges was re-elected Tuesday after running unopposed.
East Chicago 3rd District Councilman Robert “Coop” Battle, a Democrat, spent Election Day in the Lake County Jail pending a murder charge for the Oct. 12 shooting death of Reimundo Camarillo Jr., the Munster Times reported.
He also faces a federal drug charge after police say they found more than 73 pounds of marijuana and more than $100,000 cash during a Porter County traffic stop, the Times reported.
Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said Mr. Battle did not request an absentee ballot to vote from the jail.
Sheriff Buncich, who is also the county’s Democratic chairman, said he is embarrassed about Mr. Battle’s situation, the Times reported.
“The right thing to do at this time would be to resign, step aside so the East Chicago citizens in the third district can be represented properly,” he said.
Mr. Battle’s attorney, John Cantrell, said he plans to keep his client informed about council business while he is in jail.
“He is presumed innocent until he is proven guilty,” Mr. Cantrell told the Times. “If he is acquitted, he’ll keep his job.”