Home News Gary man acquitted in Valparaiso man’s murder outside house

Gary man acquitted in Valparaiso man’s murder outside house

8
0



Gary man acquitted in Valparaiso man’s murder outside house

A jury acquitted a Gary man Wednesday in a murder trial where a Valparaiso man was found dead outside the suspect’s home, court records show.

Curtis “Cowboy” Perry, 38, was charged Dec. 9, 2022, with murder and unlawful carrying of a handgun by a convicted felon in Acuna’s Dec. 1-2, 2022 death. He pleaded not guilty.

Court records note that neither a gun nor bullet casings were recovered from the scene. There were no witnesses at the shooting.

Perry’s lawyer Susan Severtson said Thursday she was “grateful” that “jurors were paying close attention” and “came to the same conclusion”.

There was “not evidence of my client’s guilt,” she said. They had a lot of sympathy for the victim’s family, but felt jurors made the right decision. The two witnesses only relayed what they heard on the street, she said.

Earlier on Wednesday, witness Leroy Fair testified he met with Perry at a gas station in December 2022, where Perry admitted he shot Luis Acuna.

“He said it wasn’t meant to happen,” Fair told Deputy Prosecutor Shannon Phillips.

Perry said Acuna shot first, and Perry returned fire in “self-defense,” Fair said.

Severtson challenged Fair’s credibility. Fair admitted he only knew Perry for a “few months” and had thought his real name was Charles.

Fair also cut a plea deal for a 2½-year cap in his own drug dealing case from last fall in exchange for his testimony, she noted. Police didn’t have corroborating video from a gas station proving they were both there, Severtson said.

After the murder, Acuna’s black Nissan Frontier truck was missing. According to license plate readers and gas station surveillance videos, someone took it just after the murder and stopped by a few gas stations in Gary.

At a Citgo gas station on the 1500 block of Broadway Avenue, two Black men, later identified as co-defendant Tyrone Mims, the driver, wearing blue Jordans, and Perry, the passenger, were seen getting out of Acuna’s truck around 1:20 a.m. Dec. 2.

A witness told police Acuna was a drug addict and often disappeared for days. Police traced a contact in Acuna’s phone records to a man named, “Cowboy”, later identified as Perry.

Later, another witness said that Perry and co-defendant Tyrone Mims pulled up in a black truck and asked them to “strip” and “get rid” of a black truck shortly after the shooting.

The next morning, the witness overheard Perry say he argued with a man — who police inferred was Acuna — who shot at him first. Perry had to show the man who was “boss”, documents state. Perry said he shot the man, then kicked him down the stairs.

Police wrote in the charging affidavit there was no evidence of a “mutual shooting” or fight inside the house.

Mims is charged in his own case with assisting a criminal, a Level 5 felony. His next court date is scheduled for April 19, court filings show.

Deputy Prosecutors Cole Galloway and Shannon Phillips led the case against Perry. Defense attorney Eric Morris assisted Severtson. Judge Natalie Bokota presided over the trial.

mcolias@post-trib.com



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here