Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Defendant shot man to death to prevent woman from leaving home, police say
alert urgent

Defendant shot man to death to prevent woman from leaving home, police say

Antonio West

Antonio West

CROWN POINT — A Gary man made an initial court appearance Wednesday on charges he murdered a Tennessee man earlier this month after the man arrived at the defendant's apartment and told a woman, "Let's go."

Antonio West, 54, is accused of shooting 39-year-old Shawn Rhyan Pewitt to death Sept. 8 in the 2500 block of Connecticut Street in Gary.

West knew Pewitt, of Rockvale, Tennessee, and the woman because he previously sold drugs to them, according to Lake Criminal Court records.

A magistrate entered a not guilty plea on West's behalf to one count of murder. West also is facing a firearm enhancement.

The woman told police she, Pewitt and a Lowell man were at a drug house in Gary on Sept. 8 when West arrived and they all went to West's apartment.

The woman told police Pewitt wanted her to leave with them, but West ordered her to go inside. She complied because she was scared of West, court records state.

After Pewitt and the other man left, West forced the woman to have sex with him for crack cocaine, records allege.

Ride along with Officer Jimmy Weller as he patrols the region's border of Lake Michigan as part of the Lake County Sheriff's Marine Unit. Video by Connor Burge. 

The woman told police she later accompanied West to an appointment at a Social Security office and called Pewitt while she waited in a car.

She told Pewitt she was scared, and he advised her to get out of the car and walk to safety, records state.

The woman remained in the car and accompanied West back to his apartment, according to court documents.

The woman told police Pewitt later showed up at West's apartment and told her, "Let's go."

She alleged West said, "Hell no," and Pewitt told West, "You want to come outside, I'll crack your head."

The woman told police West pulled a gun and shot Pewitt once in the chest. She attempted to help Pewitt, and West fled the residence, records state.

Another man inside West's apartment, whom West had asked to stay in a rear bedroom, told police he heard West say, "Get out," followed by a single gunshot. The man then heard a woman say, "Rhyan breath," records state.


Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Breaking News


Entertainment & Dining

Latest News

Local Sports

NWI Prep Sport News

Weather Alerts