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robert currie

Robert Currie

A 24-year-old man pleaded guilty Tuesday to voluntary manslaughter for the shooting death of a Gary rapper last summer in East Chicago.

Robert S. Currie, of East Chicago, admitted in a plea agreement filed Tuesday in Lake Criminal Court he was responsible for the death of Ashanti “Bundles” Walden, who was gunned down June 23, 2017, in the 4800 block of Alexander Avenue, court records state.

Three witnesses identified Currie as Walden's shooter, records state. One witness said the 25-year-old rapper had written a song about robbing Currie before the shooting.

Currie said in an interview with detectives Walden made a lot of enemies because of his rhymes. He claimed he was at his grandmother's house the night of the shooting, but his cousin said that was not true in a separate interview with police.

Currie also pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempted obstruction of justice, a level 6 felony. The state filed the obstruction charges against Currie in February after he allegedly conspired with a friend to intimidate a witness at a Jan. 30 bond hearing in Lake Criminal Court.

Defense attorney John Cantrell said Tuesday the sentences for the two offenses will be served concurrently, so Currie will face 10 to 30 years in prison. 

Currie's remaining charges of murder, felony battery and three counts of attempted obstruction of justice would be dismissed as part of the plea agreement. 

Currie is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 19 by Judge Salvador Vasquez.

A jury trial scheduled to begin Monday was canceled. 

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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.