CROWN POINT | A Lake Criminal Court judge sentenced a Gary man to 55 years in prison Friday following the defendant's guilty plea to murder while suffering from a mental illness, his attorney confirmed.
Lake Criminal Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. in October had agreed to a request by the Gary man to withdraw his plea in a murder case. But Lake Criminal Court records show Maurice Beckham, 30, again entered a guilty but mentally ill plea on April 9.
In a text message to The Times, Beckham's defense attorney Lemuel Stigler confirmed the 55-year prison sentence was handed down Friday by Stefaniak.
Beckham's charge arose from the fatal shooting of Dominique Greenlaw, 25, of Griffith, in November 2011.
In a court-ordered evaluation, doctors had found Beckham to be suffering from schizo-affective disorder, court records show.
He is accused of fatally shooting Greenlaw, a friend of his, while sitting behind the victim in Greenlaw's car in Gary.
Beckham's family told police he was diagnosed with schizophrenia about 10 years ago, according to court records. The court-ordered evaluation later confirmed Beckham to be mentally ill.