A man with a violent history and four heinous charges of Child Molestation made his initial appearance in the Starke Circuit Court yesterday. Forty-three-year-old Steven L. O’Bryant pleaded not guilty to the charges filed against him and vehemently denied the allegations, insisting on a lie detector test to prove his innocence.
“These charges are sick and disgusting,” O’Bryant said, insisting that while a lot of defendants claim they are innocent, he is truly so. He insisted that the state subject him to a lie detector test.
O’Bryant requested a court-appointed attorney represent him, as he is financially unable to provide his own attorney. He says since his release from the Department of Corrections on June 6, 2011, he has been unable to find a job because of the tattoos on his face. As a result, Starke Circuit Court Judge Kim Hall appointed Timothy Lemon to his case.
O’Bryant is accused of molesting a juvenile while he stayed at their residence over the course of two months from March 30 to May 30. He requested a speedy trial, and Judge Hall informed him that his attorney must file a written motion within 10 days.
O’Bryant was charged with murdering a Knox woman 25 years ago, on Oct. 28, 1987. After the charges were filed, O’Bryant claimed he was insane, but later withdrew his defense of insanity. After he was convicted, he filed a Motion to Modify Sentence – not to reduce the sentence, but to increase it to the death penalty, saying that when he gets out he is likely to hurt someone. He was released from the Department of Corrections on parole June 27, 2011, and he was released from parole on Jan. 9.
During the course of that murder case, however, Judge Kim Hall was the prosecuting attorney for the county in 1987. As a result, Hall felt it would be in the best interest of everyone involved if he were to recuse not only himself, but Magistrate Jeanene Calabrese from the case as well, as she is appointed to her position by Hall. As a result, the case will be heard by a judge of the St. Joseph Superior Court in South Bend.
Judge Hall set O’Bryant’s bond at $500,000 surety, and set his first pretrial conference date for Oct. 31 at 8 a.m., and his second for Nov. 29 at 8 a.m. These dates are likely to change, however, as the case moves to St. Joseph.