CROWN POINT – A judge on Monday set a September trial for a man charged with murder in a fatal shooting last year in the parking lot of a Merrillville hotel.
Victor Young, 41, of Gary, appeared with his attorney, Adam Tavitas, before Lake Criminal Court Judge Clarence Murray following the judge’s decision last week to deny Young's petition to let bail.
Murray scheduled Young's pretrial hearing for Aug. 12 and set his trial to begin Sept. 9.
Murray last week denied Young bail at the recommendation of Magistrate Natalie Bokota, who presided over a series of hearings in December, March and April.
Deputy Prosecutor Patrick Grindlay wrote in court filings that video footage showed Young shoot Miles Beach, 37, of Gary, in the back Feb. 22, 2018, as Beach walked away from Young in the parking lot at the Rodeway Inn at 6201 Opportunity Drive in Merrillville.
Defendants charged with murder generally aren't afforded bail unless the state's evidence is not strong.
A witness saw Young and Beach bump chests during an argument, Grindlay wrote. The video shows Young left the scene, returned with a 9mm handgun, pointed a finger at Beach and shot Beach as Beach began to turn and walk away, he said.
Tavitas presented evidence during the hearings that Beach was accompanied at the scene by a man, court records state.
Although the video showed that man with a gun, prosecutors did not present the evidence during hearings, Tavitas wrote.
"No expert testimony was provided that showed Mr. Young shot Miles Beach," he wrote. "Clearly Mr. Young acted in self-defense or in a manner that was not murder."
Gridlay wrote Young's self-defense claim was "tenuous at best, dishonest at worst."
Young had no reason to fear Beach, because Beach wasn't facing Young at the time of the shooting and didn't have a weapon, records said. Also, Young fired multiple shots, which "tends to show he was doing more than protecting his life."