Tag Archives: Law

Indianapolis Experiences 142nd Homicide of the Year, Closes in on Chicago's Killing Rate

29 Dec

From Our Friend Paul Ogden in Indianapolis:

Indianapolis Experiences 142nd Homicide of the Year, Closes in on Chicago’s Killing Rate

With two more killings last night, Indianapolis now has 142 homicides for 2013 according to the Bart Lies! website which tracks Indy killings.  This is compared to 115 in 2012, 110 in 2011, and 119 in 2010.

A few years ago, City leaders conveniently redefined homicide to mean “murder” in order to get the count below 100.  Of course, “murder” is a legal term and something can’t technically be classified as “murder” until often a lengthy court process has taken place.  A person may have acted in self-defense and be acquitted of a murder charge, for example.  It still would be a homicide though.  Whether it is a homicide is determined at or near the time of the killing which makes it the figure used in crime reports, unless it is Indianapolis which tries to fudge the number, chiefly to fool media types who simply assume “homicide” and “murder” mean the same thing.

By contrast, Chicago, which has seen a substantial decline in killings, is closing out the year with about 458 homicides. If my math is correct, Indianapolis has one homicide for every 5,945 residents while Chicago has a homicide for every 5,928 residents.  So Indy’s homicide rate is still lower than Chicago…barely.

You can comment here or, leave a comment for Paul on his website http://www.ogdenonpolitics.com/  This article is reprinted with permission.  All opinions expressed herein are those of the author.

 

Griffith Police Arrest Subject, Credit Vigilant Citizens for Helping

19 Dec interstate 80 94 accident

Gazette Staff

At approximately 12:15 pm on December 16, 2013, the Griffith Police were notified by a resident that a subject in a green compact car had approached her residence and rang her doorbell continuously. The resident, having just exited the shower, did not immediately answer the door and instead yelled to the subject that she would come to the door shortly. After making this statement, the subject quickly returned to the green car and left the area.

Griffith Sergeant Todd Dawes responded to the area of the complainant’s home and, in the area of the 900 block of Wheeler, located a green compact car parked in a driveway, running and occupied by two men. Sergeant Dawes made contact with the two men who advised that they were present at the residence to visit a friend. Despite their claims, Sergeant Dawes noted that the men appeared to be nervous and that their car had a large screen TV, a gaming system and a jewelry box in the back seat. Additional officers were summoned to the scene and the two men, identified as David Woods (19 YOA) of Gary and Shane Parks (19 YOA) of Chesterton, were detained. Further investigation at the scene revealed that forced entry had been made to the home and that a burglary had taken place. A subsequent warranted search of the vehicle resulted in the recovery of all property taken from the Griffith residence as well as additional property that will likely be associated with other burglaries that have occurred recently in neighboring towns.

Both Woods and Parks provided statements to Detective Schoon regarding their involvement in this burglary.

On December 18, 2013, the Office of the Lake County Prosecutor charged David Woods and Shane Parks with Class B Felonies for Burglary. If convicted, Woods and Parks face 6 to 20 years in prison.

Chief Mance stated that, “Arrest like this show that the citizens of Griffith and the Griffith Police Department are working in unison to send a strong message that crime will not be tolerated in our community.”

Little Caesar's in Portage Robbed, Chief Williams Issues Statement

19 Dec interstate 80 94 accident

Gazette Staff

A police report indicates that there was a robbery at the Portage Little Caesar’s restaurant located at 6321 Central Avenue on Wednesday night. No weapon was brandished during the robbery. Police seek help from the public in finding a white male, 6 feet tall with a thin build. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Portage Police Department at 219-762-3122

PUBLIC SAFETY ALERT: We are actively following leads and working diligently to bring this person to justice. Unfortunately, across the region recently there have been a number of Robberies, some related, some not. Please know that these Police Agencies communicate with each other and share information to help bring a resolution to these cases as quickly as possible. Chief Troy Williams

Schererville Daytime Burglary Results in Two Arrests

13 Dec

by Ken Davidson

Schererville police have confirmed that there was a burglary at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the 500 block of Gard Lane.  Police reported that they were called to the scene and found footprints in the snow.  The footprints were tracked to Govert Drive where the two suspects were found.  One fled on foot and was later apprehended in the 700 block of New Castle Drive.   A 16 year old juvenile and an 18 year old adult were arrested and transported to the Lake County Jail.  Charges are pending.

A citizen has reported to the Gazette that the door to the home was kicked in which resulted in the burglary call.  The Gazette is attempting to verify this report but has been unable to do so thus far.  We will update this article as information becomes available.

Meth lab found in Lake station

11 Dec

On December 11, 2013, at approximately 1:45 a.m., Lake Station Police Department obtained a search warrant for a residence in the 3300 block of Arizona Street, Lake Station, Indiana, in conjunction to a narcotic investigation. With the assistance of the Northwest Regional SWAT Unit and Lake Station SWAT Unit, the warrant was executed and five individuals were taken into custody. During a multi-month investigation, Lake Station officers conducted several undercover (controlled) purchases of methamphetamine “Meth” from the residence. Lake Station narcotic officers started working with investigators from DEA and Jasper County Sheriff’s Department. Officers obtained evidence that the subjects were “cooking” the product inside the house, which is located in a residential area of the city. During the investigation, officers discovered that the subjects were responsible for supplying methamphetamine to several other communities in Indiana as far away as Newton County and Jasper County.
During a search of the residence, officers confirmed the residence was being used as a “Meth Lab” and recovered evidence indicating that several batches of Meth had been “cooked” in the residence. Among the items that were confiscated were methamphetamine and several electronic devices. Lake Station Narcotic Officers plan on presenting their case to the Lake County Prosecutor’s office Thursday afternoon.
As always we encourage anyone with information about
someone selling or manufacturing narcotics
in the community to contact :
the Lake Station Police Department at 219-962-1186.
Kevin Garber Sr.
Chief of Police
Lake Station Police Department

Facebook Post Warns Miller Residents of Rash of Burglaries

9 Dec

Reader Submitted

There have been a rash of burglaries and attempted burglaries in the area. The police have not released information to the public. The suspects are 3 black males that drive a white trailblazer. They approach houses and knock on the door to see if anybody is home. If they are, they take off running. If nobody answers then they break in. Most break ins are occurring around the sides of the houses. The police do not believe they’re armed. If you see these suspects, use caution, but please notify the police.

Gary Councilman To Plead Guilty to Two Misdemeanor Tax Counts

9 Dec

by Ken Davidson

Here is a lesson for anyone potentially facing federal charges, get a great attorney and get in front of the situation before the press can get a handle on it.  In a Lake County first, Gary Councilman Ronier Scott announced a plea of guilty on the day that the office of US Attorney David Capp announced the charges against him.  Scott avoids the months of negative press that have plagued some other politicians in similar circumstances.  While he still will certainly face much scrutiny, it appears that he will not be required under Indiana law to resign his council seat.  Scott’s Attorney, Kerry Connor, confirmed to the Gazette tonight that the plea agreement calls for Scott to plead to two misdemeanor counts, each carrying a maximum term of one year in prison.  Under Indiana law, an elected official must resign if he or she is convicted of a felony.

Scott admitted in a written agreement that he failed to file tax returns for the years 2008 and 2009.  The agreement will be submitted to the Court on December 20, 2013.  Scott’s wife will be spared prosecution under the agreement.

Ronier Scott was previously implicated in a mortgage fraud matter involving convicted mortgage huckster Jerry Haymon.  Scott had given Haymon a $75,000 grant to renovate a home in his district.  Scott admitted that federal agents had questioned him several times in that matter.   It remains to be seen whether Gary voters will still “punch 10” and re-elect Scott

Surprise, Van Til Now Admits Guilt

2 Dec George Van Til statement proclaiming his innocence.

by Ken Davidson

“The truth is irrelevant to him.”  That is a quote which the Times of Northwest Indiana attributed to George Van Til while he was lying to all of us about stealing from us.    Of course, Van Til was referring to his challenger and not to himself.  Today he finally admitted that he is a thief and a liar.  The only surprise was the timing of the announcement.  The only question that remains to me is whether or not he will part with some of his purported information in order to save his own skin.  No matter what happens, Van Til is not likely to spend significant time in prison.  Although his conviction carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, it appears that he may do as little as ten months behind bars.

Van Til will officially enter a plea to Six Counts of Wire Fraud.  That is six counts of stealing from the people of Lake County, Indiana.  In short, Van Til will admit that he used employees who were being paid by the taxpayers for his personal campaign.  The Plea Agreement, signed by Van Til states:

I did knowingly and intentionally request and direct some employees of the Lake
County Surveyor’s Office to engage in political campaign work while they were
being paid with Lake County governmental funds. Furthermore, I knew that while
doing this campaign work at the Lake County Surveyor’s Office, these employees
were using Lake County property and equipment to engage in political activity.

The maximum penalty that can be imposed is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.  Van Til is not expected to receive anywhere near that amount of time.  The agreement  calls for the Assistant United States Attorney involved to argue for the minimum sentence under federal guidelines.  The Sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of 10-24 months*.   Thus, Van Til is likely to receive a ten month sentence pursuant to the plea agreement.   The agreement specifically allows for Van Til to ask for home detention or some other means.  The Agreement makes clear the Government will oppose any such request:

Although the defendant is free to argue that the sentence imposed (guideline or non-guideline) be satisfied by any means available under the sentencing guidelines, or 18 USC 3553, under no circumstances will the government make any recommendation for a term of probation, home detention, or community confinement and will oppose any request for a non-guideline and non-incarceration sentence.

The major difference in the 24 month sentence and the ten months he is likely to receive, involves the reduction in sentence for “acceptance of responsibility.”  The difference between a plea and a trial in this matter is about 41 months because the Obstruction of Justice charge is a level 14 base offense under Guidelines.  As stated below, the wire fraud charge is a level 7 base offense.

Van Til becomes the 84th Lake County democrat to plead guilty to federal charges.  None has ever been charged or convicted by Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter.

*Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Wire Fraud:

Base Offense Level:   7 (0-6 mo sentence)

Enhancements in this case:  8 points

Credits in this case: 2 points

Total Points for sentencing:   13, guideline sentence:  12-18 months

The Plea Agreement calls for an additional one point reduction in sentencing provided Van Til cooperates with Government officials.  That would reduce the sentence from 12 months to 10 months.

 

 

 

Carlson arrested for 2012 shooting

22 Nov

Matthew Carlson, (25) of Kewanna, IN, was arrested on warrant at his residence Wednesday night by Fulton County Sheriff’s Deputies and Indiana Conservation Officers. The arrest warrant includes one C-felony count of Reckless Homicide, one C-felony count of Criminal Recklessness, and one D-felony count of Criminal Recklessness. The charges stem from the shooting death of Kenneth Moore, (28) of Rochester, IN. Conservation Officers say the incident occurred on September 30, 2012 while the men were hunting on private property near Rochester.

Suspect breaks own wrist to escape

22 Nov

breaking news…
A suspect in Gary broke his own wrist to get out of handcuffs, attacks Police officer and escapes.The County police and Gary police have Broadway on virtual lockdown
looking for suspect photos to come .