CROWN POINT — A man accused in an August homicide faced a Lake Criminal Court magistrate Friday after being arrested this week while allegedly attempting to evade authorities as he exited an abandoned home.
Myles S. Thomas, 26, of Gary, was among several men charged in the Aug. 22 homicide of Rayvon Harris, 29, of Gary, inside the Save gas station in the 4500 block of Broadway.
Thomas told Magistrate Kathleen Sullivan he would need a public defender to represent him.
Sullivan entered a not guilty plea on Thomas' behalf and appointed the Lake County public defender's office.
Thomas said he was on probation in federal court and had a pending case in Gary City Court.
According to court records, Thomas pleaded guilty in 2018 to being a felon in possession of a firearm and agreed to forfeit a Bushmaster 5.56mm rifle and 60 rounds of 5.56mm ammunition. Police seized the gun and ammunition from him during a traffic stop July 5, 2017, in Michigan City.
He was sentenced to more than three years in prison, followed by one year on supervised release. He was released from prison in June, U.S. Bureau of Prison records show.
Besides Thomas, police have arrested two other men in connection with Harris' homicide.
Courtney M. Moss, 30, of Gary, and Willie A. Jones Jr., 20, of Indianapolis, have pleaded not guilty.
Police said surveillance video showed Thomas, Moss, Jones and others were hanging out in a parking lot near the gas station in the hours before Harris arrived and may have been looking for a fight before approaching Harris.
Thomas and Harris begin talking outside the gas station's store, court records state.
Thomas hit Harris, who struck back and knocked a cap off Thomas' head. Jones entered the store and punched Harris as Harris and Thomas were squaring up to fight, records allege.
Harris fell back to a corner, and Moss shot him as he attempted to stand up, documents state. A fourth suspect ran into the store and also shot Harris with an AR-15 pistol, records state.
Jones was shot and wounded during the fight.
Police found $12,159 in cash, marijuana, a scale and sandwich bags in a bag Harris was carrying, records show.
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