Early risers will have the best chance of seeing Wednesday's super blue blood moon.
The best time to observe the moon will be from 6:15 to 6:30 a.m. Wednesday throughout Northwest Indiana and northern Illinois, according to the National Weather Service. It will be the brightest moon in nearly 69 years.
Passing clouds are expected, but a narrow window of clearing could occur about sunrise Wednesday, forecasters said.
Viewers can expect to see a moon about 14 percent larger in diameter and about 30 percent brighter than when it's at its furthest distance from the earth. It won't be as big and bright again for another 18 years.
According to the astronomy website earthsky.org, the term supermoon entered usage five years ago when the closest full moon fell on March 19, 2011. The scientific term is perigee full moon.
In 2034, the moon will come even closer, within 221,485 miles. That, too, will be a supermoon.
A blue moon is the second full moon of the month, and a blood moon is a total lunar eclipse, the weather service said.
CROWN POINT — Joseph E. Barner was sentenced Tuesday to 76 years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Carmelle Erbie Cajuste, and wounding of her two family members last year in Hammond.
Ernst James Cajuste, the brother of Carmelle Erbie Cajuste, decried his sister's “senseless” killing at the sentencing hearing in Lake Criminal Court. He attributed the murder to a toxic combination of domestic violence and mental illness.
Barner, 33, of Lansing, pleaded guilty but mentally ill in December to murder and two counts of aggravated battery on allegations he murdered Cajuste, 44, and shot two other people.
The shooting happened Jan. 23, 2017, at the family's home in the 1300 block of Truman Street.
Deputy Prosecutor Maureen Koonce said Barner bought the gun a few days before the murder and drove around the neighborhood before approaching the family's home.
He argued with the victims outside the home, before he fired the gun at all three, according to court records.
Ernst James Cajuste said one of the victims, a 28-year-old man, was bedridden in a nursing home as a result of the shooting. The other victim, a 36-year-old woman, is caring for him.
Carmelle Erbie Cajuste was living with family after escaping an abusive relationship with Barner, according to Koonce.
Barner said in a tearful statement he was sorry for the murder. He said he did not get the treatment he needed for his schizophrenia, but admitted that did not excuse his actions.
Defense attorney Linda Kollintzas requested Barner be allowed to take to prison pictures of the ocean landscape.
Boswell granted the request before sentencing Barner to 76 years in prison.
The judge said she hoped Barner got the mental health treatment he needed in prison.
“I don't know if things would be different if you had medication — I don't have a crystal ball — but intervention should have happened sooner,” she said.
Barner is the second mentally ill defendant sentenced to prison this month for murder.
Joseph Nelson, 32, was sentenced Jan. 19 to 45 years in prison after he pleaded guilty but mentally ill for the murder of his mother, Annie Nelson, March 1 at their Gary home.
GRIFFITH — Police have released video surveillance that allegedly shows Broad Street Gyros business owner Carrie Demoff trying to sell cocaine out of her downtown business.
A customer later found the bag of cocaine in her cheese sticks order — which was mistakenly provided to her instead of the intended buyer of the cocaine.
The Griffith Police Department released this nearly 47-minute surveillance video in its entirety.
Key segments are outlined below:
00:00 to 1:24 - Broad Street business owner Carrie Demoff is seen allegedly crossing a rear hallway and entering the business office, unlocking the door and disappearing from view before exiting and returning to the kitchen.
She then picks up a white Styrofoam container to "drop an object into it and then seal with a similar style lid," according to court documents. The item inside later tested positive for cocaine.
According to police, the Styrofoam cup was then taken to another prep station and remained in Demoff's possession until it was placed on the counter and then placed in a larger bag.
22:58 - A customer enters and pays for her order. She is mistakenly handed the food order that contains the cocaine, according to police. She later phones police.
29:56 - A male customer enters the business and bypasses the cashier to speak directly with Carrie Demoff. As he begins to count out cash, Demoff becomes visibly distraught and irate because she cannot locate the bag. She then begins frantically making phone calls in attempt to retrieve the cocaine.
Demoff has been charged with attempted dealing in cocaine, a level 4 felony, and possession of cocaine, a level 6 felony.
She was also charged with "maintaining a common nuisance — controlled substances" for "knowingly or intentionally" maintaining her business for unlawful use of manufacturing, selling and delivering controlled substances, records show.
VALPARAISO — Former Gary and Hammond police officer Kevin Campbell showed no reaction when it was announced Tuesday afternoon that a jury found him guilty of murdering the mother of three of his children just more than two years ago.
The mother of the 30-year-old murder victim, Tiara Thomas, sobbed aloud in the courtroom after the verdict was read by Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford.
The jury had deliberated for three hours.
"We're pleased that it came back guilty," said Herbert Smith Jr., who is an uncle to Thomas.
"All involved did an excellent job," he said.
Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said, "We hope this verdict can offer some measure of closure for Tiara's family. We are thankful for the efforts of the officers and prosecutors involved in this case and thank the jury for their time and dedication to the trial."
Campbell, who will remain in jail without bond, is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. April 6.
Following closing arguments earlier in the day, jurors were left to decide whether Thomas was killed as a result of a well-planned ambush by Campbell or during a struggle with an unknown attacker.
"This man is who happened to Tiara Thomas," Porter County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Matt Frost said while pointing at 33-year-old Campbell during closing arguments in the 10-day murder trial.
"Her death was the only answer," he said.
Prosecutors have argued Campbell repeatedly shot Thomas at her Portage apartment during the early morning hours of Nov. 18, 2015, in part, to get out of paying $355 a week in child support creating a "financial quagmire" that already had resulted in his vehicle being repossessed, his mortgage payments falling behind and numerous bill collectors hounding him on his cellphone.
The security system at Campbell's Hobart home showed his front door opened at 3:25 a.m. on the day of the shooting and was opened again at 5:55 a.m., Frost said. Thomas had sent a text to her fiance at 4:48 a.m. and was found shot when he returned home from work shortly before 7:30 a.m.
Campbell's cellphone connected with a tower near Thomas' apartment at 5:34 a.m. the same morning, Frost said.
Campbell also had the children stay at his home the night before the killing and had never done that on a school night before, Frost said.
Defense attorney Susan Severtson called the case against Campbell a rush to judgment by police and said there is no physical evidence linking her client to the shooting.
She held up photos of the shooting scene and told jurors there clearly had been a struggle, contrary to the surprise ambush portrayed by prosecutors. She said there were laundry detergent bottles near the apartment door and the door was unlocked, which gives the appearance Thomas was up early doing laundry when someone attacked her.
No one saw Campbell at Thomas' apartment on the morning in question, she said. The defense has argued that Campbell's home doors were opening and closing overnight because he and his wife were placing diapers outside from an ill child.
Severtson also challenged the cellphone evidence used against Campbell, saying there were 39 cellphone towers near Thomas' apartment and only one reportedly picked up his phone.
"It never happened," she said.
Severtson dismissed the alleged financial motive for the shooting by saying Campbell's response to the increased child support payments was to work second and third jobs, not to murder Thomas.