CROWN POINT — A judge ordered an attorney for a man charged in a shooting last fall at the Hobart Walmart to tell the state how a gun allegedly used in the crime came into his possession.
Alex Hughes, 27, who recently moved to Griffith, turned the gun over to attorney Russell Brown after a shootout Sept. 30 that wounded a 26-year-old Gary man and his then-9-year-old son.
Hughes is facing attempted murder, aggravated battery and criminal recklessness charges and criminal gang and firearm enhancements.
Brown said it was irrelevant how the gun came into his possession and claimed attorney-client privilege.
The gun Hughes allegedly used and another gun recovered at the scene from the 26-year-old man's friend were tested, and both matched bullet casings recovered from the crime scene and the boy's body, Brown said.
"There are no unknown firearms that need to be recovered," he said.
Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Michael Toth said the person who handed the gun to Brown was not Brown's client, so no attorney-client privilege existed.
Hughes was arrested after fleeing from a home surrounded by police, Toth said. He was found hiding under a car and came out only after police threatened to release a K-9.
Prosecutors think Hughes gave the gun to someone else with the intention of hiding it, Toth said.
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"Hiding it goes to consciousness of guilt," he said.
Lake Criminal Court Judge Salvador Vasquez said Brown could not claim attorney-client privilege.
"You are to divulge who gave you that weapon," Vasquez said.
Vasquez granted Brown's request to release Hughes from a GPS monitoring while awaiting trial. Hughes has had not violations and posted a $10,000 cash bond in March, before prosecutors dropped one of the two attempted murder charges he had been facing.
Vasquez dismissed the charges after the state conceded ballistics evidence showed a bullet recovered from the boy did not match the gun Hughes allegedly used.
Vasquez warned Hughes he must report to report to pretrial services as ordered and would be required to take drug tests.
Vasquez also granted Brown's request to again delay Hughes' trial. A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Sept. 6 and a trial is now set to begin Sept. 30.