NW Ind. man charged in Gary cop killing - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

NW Ind. man charged in Gary cop killing

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Jeffrey Brady Westerfield Jeffrey Brady Westerfield
GARY, Ind. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

A 25-year-old Portage man has been charged in the shooting death of a Gary police officer, the Post-Tribune is reporting.

Carl Le’Ellis Blount Jr. was taken into custody July 6, but not charged until Thursday. He was being held in Lake County Jail in Crown Point on warrants out of Porter County.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich and Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter will hold a news conference at 3 p.m. Thursday in the sheriff’s office to discuss murder charges filed today against Blount.

Police believe he killed 19-year Gary Police veteran Jeffrey Brady Westerfield early July 6 at 26th Avenue and Van Buren Place in Gary. Westerfield, who turned 47 that day, was found shot to death in his squad car.

Amid tight security, Blount, 25, appeared in court Thursday morning before Lake Superior Court Magistrate Kathleen Sullivan on a petition to revoke probation for criminal recklessness. He was sentenced May 13, 2013, to 24 months -- half of the sentence was suspended and ordered served on probation. He is represented by Robert Varga of the Lake County public defender’s office.

Blount’s next court date is Sept. 24 before Lake Superior Court Judge Samuel Cappas on the probation revocation case, which stems from him being charged in Porter County while on probation in Lake County.

In a news release issued July 6, Gary Police Chief Wade Ingram said the “person of interest” in custody of the Lake County Sheriff’s Department had been brought to police’s attention “as a result of a domestic call.” He did not elaborate.

Police took the three people into custody after raiding a house in the 2600 block of Jackson Street about 3 p.m. July 6. One was taken to Methodist Hospitals Southlake with a gunshot wound to the leg, Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said. It wasn’t clear who shot the person or whether it was the “person of interest.”

Westerfield was pronounced dead at 6:36 a.m. of a gunshot wound, and his death was ruled a homicide, according to the Lake County Coroner’s office.

Blount has a 2013 conviction for criminal recklessness, D felony. He was sentenced May 13, 2013, to 24 months -- 12 months in Lake County Jail and 12 months suspended and served on probation. He had 334 days in custody at his sentencing hearing.

He was held on a Porter County warrant from a domestic incident in April where he was accused of criminal confinement, strangulation and other charges in Chesterton. Earlier this month, he was charged with forgery, also in Porter County.

Ingram said Westerfield had “four lovely daughters.” His fiance, Denise Sheaks-Cather, said he also was like a father to her five children, who were to become his stepchildren when they got married next month.

Ingram said the Major Crimes Task Force and Indiana State Police also assisted. Agents from several federal departments, including the ATF, FBI, DEA and U.S. Marshals also offered their help.

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