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Defendant in Gary murder case granted bond, new trial date

Defendant in Gary murder case granted bond, new trial date

CROWN POINT — A man accused of taking part in a deadly botched robbery at a Gary gas station in 2015 dropped his request for a speedy trial Tuesday and was expected to be released on bail.

Daidreon Sparks, 22, of Gary, was granted a bond of $75,000 surety or $7,500 cash during a hearing Tuesday before Lake Criminal Court Judge Salvador Vasquez.

Sparks' defense attorney, Jamise Perkins, said she anticipated his family would be able to post bail Tuesday.

Sparks will be required to wear an ankle monitor with GPS tracking and may leave his home only between 9 a.m. and noon weekdays to search for a job.

Vasquez warned Sparks if he fails to comply with the terms of his release, he will be held without bond until his case is resolved.

Vasquez rescheduled Sparks' trial for July 29. 

Sparks, Jimmie Caldwell, 20; Dontrall “Trall” Phillips, 23; and Walter A. Rondo III, 22, were each charged in summer 2018 with murder and attempted armed robbery in connection with the shooting death of 21-year-old Donald Fuzzell on April 12, 2015, at 23rd Street Gas, 2395 Broadway in Gary.

Caldwell and Phillips have pleaded not guilty.

Rondo pleaded guilty in December and is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 8.

A surveillance camera showed two men shooting Fuzzell in his vehicle during an attempted robbery, court records state. Sparks' co-defendants later told police two of them acted as lookouts, records state.

A K-9 unit tracked a scent from the crime scene to residences in the 2200 block of Pennsylvania Street. Detectives knew the homes were associated with the 22nd Avenue Boys street gang, records state.

A break in the case came when a woman jailed on burglary charges in May 2015 told police Sparks and his three friends confessed to her they attempted to rob a man at a gas station, but he fought back so they shot him twice.

Police identified the friends as Caldwell, Rondo and Phillips, records state.

Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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