Jurors deliberate fate of Gary man accused of murder

2013-08-27T20:30:00Z Jurors deliberate fate of Gary man accused of murderBy Bill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
August 27, 2013 8:30 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | A Lake Criminal Court jury was deliberating Monday afternoon whether a Gary man committed murder last year.

Jamal Lawshea, 26, is pleading not guilty to allegations he fatally shot Latarus Foster, 29, of Gary, Sept. 2, 2012, in the 3300 block of Maryland Street in Gary.

A 12-member jury heard testimony last week from witnesses who said the crime took place in the early morning hours after Lawshea had been bowling in Merrillville with a woman.

Deputy Prosecutor J. Michael Woods told jurors in closing arguments early Monday that  Lawshea needed money before the crime and was seen by one female witness leaving the scene of the crime with a gun. Woods said, "Who else had the motive?"

Defense lawyer Thomas Vanes responded that none of the witnesses could say who shot Foster, the gun used in the killing wasn't recovered by police and there were no fingerprint or DNA evidence to link Lawshea to the crime either.

Vanes said, "My client had no apparent reason to gun a man down. The state's case is built on one woman's say so. He simply didn't do it."

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