MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. - Morgan County Circuit Judge Jennifer Howell issued an order on Wednesday delaying a Capital Murder trial set to begin Monday.
Joseph Cowan, 24, is charged with two counts of capital murder in the 2015 shooting deaths of Antonio Hernandez and Josh Davis.
Joseph Cowan's lawyers filed for the delay after an unusual announcement by the Morgan County District Attorney Scott Anderson.
Anderson said in a hearing that former Decatur police officer and evidence technician, Johnathan Lowery, confessed to stealing evidence in an unrelated case.
The District Attorney reported that the theft came to light when Lowery was asked whether he had ever committed a crime. The revelation emerged during a pre-polygraph test that Lowery was taking as part of his application for a federal law enforcement job.
Lowery responded that he had stolen costume jewelry from an evidence locker entrusted to him during his employment as an evidence technician with the Decatur Police Department.
The officer, Johnathan Lowery was scheduled to testify in Cowan's trial and according to court documents played a major role in processing evidence in Cowan's case.
Cowans' defense is arguing that they need more time to prepare for the murder trial because of the distractions caused by the stolen evidence debacle.
Judge Jennifer Howell delayed the murder trial but she did not delay a hearing set for Friday focused on the allegations against Lowery. The rescheduling of the murder trial will be discussed at the hearing Friday morning.