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Judge grants partial bond reduction for mother accused of abusing child, shooting at man

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Zakira S. Porter

Zakira S. Porter

CROWN POINT — A Lake Criminal Court judge reduced bond Wednesday for a Gary woman charged in a shooting at a Hobart gas station but refused to grant any further reduction in a separate case linked to allegations she physically abused her child.

Zakira S. Porter, 36, was arrested May 27 by officers investigating allegations she fired shots at a man during a confrontation that day at the Luke Oil gas station at 3211 W. 37th Ave.

During the course of that investigation, police discovered Porter's 8-year-old daughter had scars all over her body. The girl told police Porter regularly hit her, often with an extension cord, "because she is mad," according to court documents.

Porter has pleaded not guilty to neglect charges in the child abuse case and to aggravated battery and other charges linked to the gas station shooting.

Her bond had been set at a total of $160,000 surety or $16,000 cash. Judge Salvador Vasquez reduced the total bond to $90,000 surety or $9,000 cash.

Porter's attorney, Adrian Guzman, said his client is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Porter, who owns beauty salons, has licenses to carry a handgun in Illinois and Indiana and would not be a flight risk because she intends to fight her charges, he said.

Porter can post a total bond of $25,000 surety or $2,500 cash, Guzman said.

Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Keith Anderson said Porter would be a flight risk and a danger to her daughter and the community if released.

Hobart police Cmdr. Nicholas Wardrip testified Porter gave an address in Gary, but he found eviction records for the residence from 2020.

In 2019, the Indiana Department of Child Services began an investigation because Porter's daughter arrived at school with a black eye, but Porter refused to cooperate, Wardrip said. She subsequently removed her daughter from that school, he said.

Wardip said photos of the girl's injuries, which the judge reviewed over objection from Guzman, were "just what's visible."

Vasquez said a bond of $100,000 surety or $10,000 cash in the shooting case was high compared to the courts' bond schedule, particularly because no one was wounded. He reduced Porter's bond in that case to $30,000 surety or $3,000 cash.

However, the judge refused to reduce Porter's bond of $60,000 surety or $6,000 cash in the neglect case.

"There is evidence there may not be a stable home environment and, quite frankly, looking at those photos kind of turned my stomach," Vasquez said.

Guzman said Porter objected to signing a no contact order, which would prohibit her from communicating with her daughter. 

Vaquez set a hearing on the no contact order for July 11 and granted Anderson's request to schedule a trial in Porter's neglect case for the week of Oct. 24.

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