CROWN POINT — A Gary man who committed the execution-style murders of a man and his fiance in 2016 before ordering a relative to clean the getaway vehicle at gunpoint was sentenced Thursday to 58 years in prison.
Harrington J. Westbrook did not reveal at the sentencing hearing the reason why he gunned down Amahn J. Muldrow, 37, and Dawn S. Williams, 32, after a night of drinking and smoking marijuana at his relative's house, despite pleas by Muldrow's mother for an answer.
“There is going to be a hole in my heart for the rest of my life,” Debra Brown, Muldrow's mother, said.
Brown said her son, who was engaged to Williams, survived cancer at age 13 and was in remission when his “life was snuffed.”
She said she wanted to know why Westbrook killed them.
Westbrook, 21, was silent on the question in a brief statement to the court. He said he was sorry to the victims' families and his own family, but nothing else.
James Dillon, deputy prosecutor for Lake County, emphasized the heinous nature of the crimes before requesting a 60-year prison sentence, the maximum sentence allowed in a plea deal Westbrook signed in October.
Dillon pointed out Williams begged for her life before Westbrook shot her three times in an alley in the 800 block of Ohio Street in Gary. She had already watched her fiance get shot in the back of the head by Westbrook, who dumped his body in an alley in the 2000 block of West Second Avenue in Gary.
One of Westbrook's relatives was driving the vehicle. He told authorities Westbrook ordered him at gunpoint to drive back to his house after the shooting, where the relative was forced to clean the vehicle with water and bleach.
Westbrook was arrested later that day at his girlfriend's residence in the 2800 block of Marshaltown Drive. Under the couple's bed, officers found the murder weapon, a black revolver.
Westbrook's defense attorney, Adam Tavitas, said his client had no prior convictions, though he was adjudicated delinquent as a juvenile for intimidation with a deadly weapon and robbery. Tavitas said Westbrook's mother, Ebony Westbrook, was serving a 40-year prison sentence for voluntary manslaughter.
Ebony N. Westbrook, a former star basketball player for Roosevelt High School, pleaded guilty to shooting her ex-girlfriend, 25-year-old Keyonia Eatmond, after an altercation April 29, 2006, at Eatmond's apartment on West 23rd Avenue.
Now 36, Westbrook is scheduled to be released from prison in 2027.
Murray said the motive for the shooting, whatever the reason, was “baffling.” He noted Westbrook benefited greatly from the plea deal; if convicted at trial on both murder counts and a firearm enhancement, he would effectively serve the rest of his life in prison.
Murray sentenced Westbrook to 60 years in prison on each of the murder counts, with the terms to be served concurrently, for a total sentence of 60 years. He suspended two years of the sentence for probation.
Westbrook said he would appeal the sentence.