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East Chicago

Court docs: Former East Chicago Councilman Robert Battle details how he shot and killed man in 2015

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HAMMOND — In a plea agreement filed Monday, former East Chicago Councilman Robert "Coop" Battle detailed the events that led to the shooting death of Reimundo Camarillo Jr. three years ago.

In the agreement, Battle admits to shooting and killing Camarillo in East Chicago on Oct. 12, 2015, when he arrived at Battle's home to discuss an outstanding drug debt owed to him.

"I fired my weapon at Reimundo Camarillo Jr. knowingly and deliberately, but had no set plan to do so prior to meeting with him. This discharge of the firearm caused the death of Reimundo Camarillo Jr.," reads the agreement.

In the filing, Battle states he has entered into an agreement with the U.S. attorney's office to plead guilty to discharging a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime which caused the death of another person in a matter that is murder.

The maximum penalty is life imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 or a combination of both imprisonment and a fine and a five-year term of supervised release. It also carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

However, Battle has also entered into a non-binding agreement that could lower his sentence to a plea of second-degree murder. That would carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in prison. He has also requested the remaining counts be dismissed at his sentencing.

A change of plea hearing for Battle, 45, has been set for 9:30 a.m. June 18 before U.S. District Judge Philip Simon.

Battle was indicted — while still serving as an East Chicago councilman — on one count related to the homicide and four counts linked to possession or distribution of marijuana and cocaine.

Battle had claimed he shot Camarillo in self-defense. Unopposed in the November 2015 election, Battle was re-elected while being held in jail on the charges.

The East Chicago City Council unanimously voted in May 2016 to remove him from office.

Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.

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