Homicide suspect turns himself in after avoiding apprehension for months

2014-05-12T15:15:00Z 2014-05-12T23:07:11Z Homicide suspect turns himself in after avoiding apprehension for monthsElvia Malagon elvia.malagon@nwi.com, (219) 662-5331 nwitimes.com

GARY | A homicide suspect who walked out of an Illinois hospital earlier this year without police apprehension turned himself in Monday to local authorities. 

Mark A. Cherry, 21, of Lake Station, turned himself in about 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Lake County Jail, Gary police said. Cherry's attorney was with him when he surrendered. 

Cherry was charged in December with murder, two counts of attempted murder, attempted robbery, criminal confinement and two counts of battery by means of a deadly weapon. 

He's accused of taking part in the Dec. 1 home invasion in the 6200 block of West 29th Avenue in Gary. According to an affidavit, people inside the home confronted the suspects and tried to disarm them. Rolando A. Correa, 22, of Gary, was shot during the home invasion and later died at Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus, police said. 

Gary police stopped a vehicle fleeing from the scene and found Cherry inside with a gunshot wound, according to an affidavit. Police said he was wounded at some point during the struggle with the homeowners.

Cherry was taken to Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn and was discharged in late February without police apprehension.

The Gary Police Department said detectives were not informed by the hospital that Cherry was going to be released. 

Mike Maggio, a spokesman for the hospital, said earlier this month by email that hospital officials cannot tell anyone when a patient is going to be discharged because of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act. He said the arresting agency typically places an officer outside a suspect's hospital room. 

Gary police Cpl. Gabrielle King said an officer was not placed outside Cherry's hospital room, because the department doesn't have jurisdiction in Illinois.

King said by email Monday that in the future, the department will work closely with the Cook County Sheriff's Office, the Oak Lawn Police Department and other agencies to prevent suspects from freely walking out of hospitals.

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