CROWN POINT | A 19-year-old man who had been in Lake County Jail since 2013 pending murder charges was granted bail this week.
Geremiah R. Erwin, of Hammond and Calumet City, faces charges of murder and murder in the perpetration of robbery in the Sept. 24, 2013, shooting death of Marchello Valliant.
Erwin posted a $3,000 cash bail Monday after the bail amount was reduced to $3,000 from $4,000 during a hearing before Lake Criminal Court Pro Tem Thomas Vanes, according to court records.
Last month, Erwin's bail was reduced from no bail to $4,000 following two hearings in front of Lake Criminal Magistrate Natalie Bokota.
The Lake County prosecutor's office argued in a memorandum in opposition of bail being set in the case that the state had enough evidence to prove Erwin should be charged with murder.
Valliant, 30, of Hammond, was found shot to death inside a car in the 7500 block of Chestnut Avenue in Hammond, according to court records. Valliant, who was in the driver's seat, was still holding money in his hand when he was killed.
Witnesses said the shooter was seen wearing a light-colored shirt. According to the state's memorandum, Erwin was seen on surveillance video from a gas station minutes before the shooting with Valliant and another man.
Defense attorney Scott King argued in his memorandum that the state's evidence only demonstrated his client was at the crime scene, not that he was the shooter. Erwin's family had originally told King they had secured enough funds to post a $4,000 bail.
Erwin had previously been scheduled to stand trial this past June, but the trial was canceled after he hired King as an attorney in May.
A new trial date had not been set in the case as of this week. Erwin's next court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 16.