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CROWN POINT — Trial continued Wednesday for Michael Brown, a 43-year-old Merrillville man charged with murder in the fatal shooting in January of Danny Leake.

Lt. Alan Magurany, an evidence technician for the Lake County sheriff's office, testified Wednesday he was dispatched about 2 a.m. Jan. 25 for reports of a homicide in the 1400 block of East 49th Avenue in Gary.

He told jurors Leake was dead at the scene. In crime scene photographs, the victim was shown lying in a barren, muddy lot wearing a reflective vest, blue jeans and tan boots.

Investigators found a partially emptied beer bottle and Gatorade bottle next to the body. Despite the below-freezing temperatures, the drinks were only partially frozen, suggesting they were tied to the crime.

Investigators also recovered two paper receipts, numerous shell casings, a set of keys and a cellphone from the scene.

A witness, Arthur Smith, testified Tuesday Brown and a second man, Hillard Hathaway, opened fire on him and Leake after a disagreement about vehicles on the property.

Defense attorney Scott King said in opening statements Tuesday Hathaway and Leake were the ones who exchanged gunfire during the dispute. He said Brown, who was “scared out of his mind,” took Hathaway home afterward, and only learned in February he was charged with Leake's murder.

Hathaway is charged with attempted murder in the case.

Attorneys said Brown's trial could conclude Thursday.

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.