CROWN POINT — A criminal court judge said police could obtain a DNA sample from a 23-year-old East Chicago man accused in a Gary rapper's murder.
Robert S. Currie appeared at a hearing Wednesday in Lake County Criminal Court with defense attorney John Cantrell.
Currie is charged with murder and battery by means of a deadly weapon in the June 23 shooting death of Ashanti “Bundles” Walden in the 4800 block of Alexander Avenue in East Chicago.
Cantrell told Judge Salvador Vasquez he objected to the state's motion to obtain a buccal swab, or mouth swab, from his client without a clear reason for why the sample was being collected.
Deputy Prosecutor Kyle Hoogeveen told the judge the state intended to compare the sample to evidence collected at the crime scene — bottles, bullet casings and a firearm.
A 40-caliber handgun was found hidden underneath a plastic trash bin on Alexander Avenue, about 20 to 30 feet from where Walden, 25, was found murdered, according to the deputy prosecutor.
Vasquez approved the state's motion. He also affirmed a pretrial conference Jan. 17, and a trial date for March 5.
Currie has been jailed without bond since his arrest Sept. 21, according to court records.
He is requesting the judge provide a bond at a hearing Dec. 5.