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Man pleads not guilty in East Chicago gang shooting
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Man pleads not guilty in East Chicago gang shooting

E.C. gang killing

From left are Rolando M. Leal Jr. and Angel Garcia-Berrios.

CROWN POINT — One of the two men accused in the fatal shooting of Thaddeus Rodriguez Jr., a 25-year-old man allegedly targeted for killing by an East Chicago street gang, has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, felony battery and criminal gang activity.

Angel Garcia-Berrios, 23, appeared Wednesday morning in Lake Criminal Court for a formal appearance with defense attorney Robert J. Varga. 

Varga said his client would plead not guilty to charges and told the court he intended to file a petition to let bail. 

A new court date is set for May 10.

Rolando M. Leal Jr., a 27-year-old co-defendant, is scheduled to make a formal appearance in court Thursday.

Garcia-Berrios and Leal are accused of shooting Rodriguez on Jan. 25, 2016, outside his girlfriend's apartment near the 4800 block of Tod Avenue in East Chicago, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Police learned from confidential informants that members of the Dark Side Two-Six street gang were told to shoot Rodriguez on sight, the affidavit states.


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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.

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