Appeals court affirms 50-year prison term in murder of Gary teen

2013-11-18T15:26:00Z 2013-11-18T22:25:15Z Appeals court affirms 50-year prison term in murder of Gary teenBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
November 18, 2013 3:26 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana Court of Appeals rejected a sentence reduction request Monday from a Michigan City man serving 50 years for the 2011 murder of a Gary teenager, on top of a 20-year prison term for shooting at a Merrillville couple while driving on Interstate 80/94.

Aaron Windom, 27, argued to the appeals court that his half-century murder sentence is inappropriate given his character and the nature of the offense.

Windom pleaded guilty in March for the shooting death of Deandre Wilson, 17, early on the morning of Feb. 19, 2011. Wilson was shot four times in the back, once in the side of the head and once in the face, according to court records.

The plea deal capped Windom's murder prison term at 50 years out of a potential 65 years. Lake Superior Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr., issued a 50-year sentence.

In a 3-0 decision, the appeals court upheld Windom's prison term. Appeals Judge Ezra Friedlander said shooting an unarmed friend six times while arguing about borrowing a car justifies the sentence.

In addition, Friedlander said Windom's "significant" juvenile history and six adult felony convictions by age 26 does not warrant a sentence reduction, despite Windom's claimed remorse.

Two days prior to Wilson's murder, Windom fired multiple shots at a vehicle traveling alongside his on westbound I-80/94 near the Lake Station exit, according to court records.

Stefaniak ordered Windom's murder sentence be served consecutive to the 20-year term for his two attempted battery convictions stemming from that "road rage" incident.

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