Gary man strangled to death in domestic dispute

2013-07-13T18:33:00Z 2013-07-14T21:45:08Z Gary man strangled to death in domestic disputeBill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
July 13, 2013 6:33 pm  • 

GARY | The spike in city violence continued this weekend with police investigation the strangulation death of a Gary man in an apparent domestic dispute and a shooting, both in the city's Midtown section.

The Lake County coroner's office identified the dead man as Clester Sims, 37, of the 1400 block of West 16th Avenue.

Gary police Cpl. Gabrielle King said a concerned resident called Police Chief Wade Ingram at 8:25 a.m. Saturday to report a possible homicide at the location. Ingram rushed to the home and found Sims' body.

The coroner's office said its staff pronounced Sims dead at 10:05 a.m. of trauma to the neck and are tentatively classifying the death as a homicide.

King said officers arrested Santrina Echols, who was identified as the victim's girlfriend. Gary Detective Cpl. Mike Barnes is investigating and will present his findings to the Lake County prosecutor's office. She said anyone with information on the crime should call Barnes at (219) 881-7300, ext. 3004.

The county police crime scene investigation team assisted the investigation.

Police said they also are investigating the shooting of 24-year-old Benjamin Fullilove at 3:20 a.m. in the 2100 block of Carolina Street. Police said the assault took place during an argument among people at a party at that location. Police didn't list his condition.

Sims' death is the 28th homicide reported in Gary this year and sixth in the past eight days.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson has asked Gov. Mike Pence's office to allow Indiana State Police to help the city deal with the spike in violence. State police officials have met with Ingram on the matter.

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