CROWN POINT — A man serving life in prison for murdering Gary Patrolman Jeffrey Westerfield in 2014 has withdrawn his petition for post-conviction relief.
Carl Blount, 30, had been seeking to have his conviction vacated for claims of alleged prosecutorial misconduct.
Blount pleaded guilty to murder in 2017 for shooting Westerfield and was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
He admitted in the plea agreement he shot Westerfield on July 6, 2014, while the officer sat in his squad car on 26th Avenue near Van Buren Street in Gary. It was Westefield's 47th birthday.
Blount was also a suspect in the shooting deaths of Daven C. James, 17, and Derrion Estes, 23, both of which occurred on June 26, 2014, in Gary.
In a petition filed in February 2018, Blount accused Lake County prosecutors of making threats to induce him into pleading guilty to murder in Westerfield's shooting death.
He said prosecutors threatened that if he did not sign a plea agreement, then the state would file two separate murder charges against him and seek the death penalty in both cases.
The Lake County prosecutor's office denied the allegations contained in Blount's petition in a response filed April 4, 2018.
However, Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter said at the time of Blount's sentencing that the state was able to strike the deal with Blount by agreeing not to charge him in James' and Estes' shooting deaths.
Blount filed a motion on his own behalf April 15 seeking to withdraw his petition for relief. No reason for his request was noted.
Lake Criminal Court Judge Samuel Cappas granted Blount's motion April 16 without prejudice, which means he can re-file the petition at a later date. Cappas also canceled a June 11 hearing on the petition.