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CROWN POINT — A Griffith man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge alleging he murdered a man dating his ex-girlfriend during an argument in Calumet Township.

Juan Guerrero, 41, made a formal appearance Thursday before Lake Criminal Court Judge Samuel Cappas with defense attorney Derrick Julkes.

Guerrero is accused of fatally shooting 46-year-old Jermaine Salazar on May 14 in the 200 block of North Colfax Street.

Guerrero's ex-girlfriend told police she and Guerrero argued after she arrived at his home to pick up their foster child. She and Salazar left with the child and returned to Salazar's home in Calumet Township, court records say.

Later, Guerrero allegedly called the woman and told her to come outside. 

Salazar went outside and found Guerrero standing outside his car with a gun. Guerrero opened fire as Salazar approached him, then drove off, records allege.

Salazar was hit several times in his torso and died at Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus.

Police took Guerrero into custody in New Lenox, Illinois, after tracking his phone's GPS. A 9mm gun was found in his car, police said.

Guerrero's next court hearing is set for July 25.

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Public Safety Reporter

Sarah covers crime, federal courts and breaking news for The Times. She joined the paper in 2004 after graduating from Purdue University Calumet.