BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio -- It will be at least another month before a trial date is set for the man charged in the death of a West Chester Township woman.
Ellen “Ellie” Weik, 23, was reported missing on Aug. 1. Her body was found in a Liberty Township field on Millikin Road three weeks later. Michael Strouse, 29, was arrested and charged with murder.
Wednesday morning, attorneys for Strouse requested more time to review evidence in the case before a trial date is set.
Since Strouse’s arraignment in September, the prosecution has prepared evidence that includes 600 pages of police reports, 32 search warrants and 88 “documents and tangible evidence” in the case, reports WCPO media partner the Journal-News.
Included on the manifest of evidence turned over to the defense as discovery last week are Amazon records, BCI crime reports, cell phone reports for various people including the defendant, photos of skeleton reconstruction and social media records.
Strouse’s attorneys also requested that a vehicle seized during the investigation be released. The vehicle is owned by Strouse’s mother, according to his attorneys. But investigations need to keep the vehicle in their possession for a few more photographs, according to the prosecution.
Strouse was indicted in September for aggravated murder, murder, three counts of tampering with evidence, menacing by stalking, petty theft, abuse of a corpse, and gross abuse of a corpse.
Strouse lives on Bluffs Drive, not far from where Weik’s body was found by West Chester police officers. The chief said tips led authorities to the Millikin Road location. Weik died of asphyxiation, according to court documents.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said the prosecution’s witness list includes 54 law enforcement officers, 24 lay persons and 20 people from various companies who are keepers of the records in devices such as cell phones.
Strouse is being held on a $4 million bond. He is scheduled to be back in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Dec. 12 when a trial date may be set.
Journal-News staff writer Lauren Pack contributed to this report. The Journal-News is a media partner of WCPO.