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Murder charge filed after police find dead driver, signs of a gun battle
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Murder charge filed after police find dead driver, signs of a gun battle

Anthony E. Horde III

Anthony E. Horde III

CROWN POINT — A Schererville man was being held Friday on charges alleging he killed a Gary man during a gun battle in March.

Anthony E. Horde III, 27, was linked to a burgundy Chevrolet Equinox found at the crime scene in the 1300 block of Dakota Street in Gary's Aetna section, according to Lake Criminal Court records.

Horde also called 911 the morning of the homicide, gave his name and date of birth, and told a dispatcher he'd been involved in a shooting and wanted to talk to police, records state.

When the dispatcher asked Horde if anyone had been shot, he said he wanted to speak to his lawyer first. He never went to the Gary Police Department to speak with officers, court records allege.

A magistrate entered a not guilty plea to one count of murder on Horde's behalf during an initial hearing Friday, records showed. Horde told the magistrate he planned to hire a private attorney.

Join Tristan DeFord, Jami Rieck, and Nancy Zakutanksky on a shift working for Superior Ambulance in Merrillville.

Gary police responded about 5 a.m. March 9 for a report of shots fired and found Russell Hillard Jr., 39, shot to death in the driver's seat of white sedan.

It appeared Hillard was attempting to turn into his driveway when a gun battle broke out, court documents state.

Just south of Hillard's car, a burgundy Chevrolet Equinox was parked facing north with its driver's side door partially open and its front passenger door completely open. Detectives later learned the Equinox had been rented by Horde, according to documents. 

Police also found two prescriptions with Horde's name on them in a bag on the rear passenger floorboard of the Equinox, records state.

Both vehicles had gunfire damage, and police found spent bullet casings from four different types of guns on the ground around the cars, records state.

In his 911 call, Horde claimed someone in another car began following him, pulled over at a dead end, cut him off and fired shots at him. He allegedly told the dispatcher he fired back.

That scenario didn't match the crime scene, because Horde had a practice of returning home in the early morning to dress for work and appeared to be turning into his driveway before the shooting, records state. 

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