Meth lab suspect switches counsel

COLUMBIA CITY — The suspect charged with drug crimes has dismissed his public defender and hired independent counsel.Travis A. Wonderly, 21, was in Whitley County Circuit Court Monday for a pre-trial conference after being arrested by the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department in January and charged with manufacturing methamphetamine, possession of chemicals with the intent to manufacture, maintaining a common nuisance and neglect of a dependent resulting in death.In court last month, Wonderly was assigned Public Defender Brad Baber by Circuit Court Judge James Heuer.On Monday, Fort Wayne attorney Robert Gevers filed his appearance as Wonderly’s attorney and requested a continuance so he could review the case.Judge Michael Rush, sitting in for Heuer, set the pre-trial conference for 8:45 a.m. on March 28.Wonderly was arrested as a result of an incident Jan. 3 where police and emergency medical crews were called to 730 Camden Drive in Columbia City.The address was the residence of Wonderly and 36-year-old Janel Creech, who is also in custody and awaiting trial.The 911 call was made because Creech’s 5-month-old daughter Taylor was unconscious.The infant was rushed to Parkview Whitley Hospital where she was pronounced dead.The residence was condemned by Indiana State Police and the Whitley County Health Department.The death of Taylor Creech is still under investigation, according to County Coroner Scott Smith who said the pathology report had not been completed.