CROWN POINT — A magistrate entered a not guilty plea Thursday on behalf of a man accused of fatally shooting a 38-year-old man last month in Gary's Black Oak section.
A murder charge against Mark A. Windsheimer II, 27, of Gary, was unsealed last week after Windsheimer was extradited from Piatt County, Illinois, to Lake County, online court records show.
Charging documents allege Windsheimer and Christopher J. Dukes II, 17, of Merrillville, pulled up outside Landen Cowart's home about 12:30 a.m. Sept. 3 in the 2300 block of Colfax Street and wanted a woman to leave with them.
The woman told police Cowart, 38, asked her if she wanted to go. When she said "no," Cowart told Windsheimer and Dukes: "You and you get off my property. She don't have to go," court records state.
Windsheimer allegedly threatened to "blow this (expletive) up," and Cowart replied: "Then get to bustin'," records state.
The woman told police Windsheimer asked Dukes if he had his pistol, and Dukes began shooting. Windsheimer also had a pistol, records allege.
The woman later told police she had been dating Cowart and left him for Windsheimer, but then went back to Cowart, court records state. It was "all a jealousy thing" between Cowart and Windsheimer, she said.
The woman said Cowart and Windsheimer also may have had a "beef" about drugs, records state.
Other witnesses told police they heard 10 to 15 gunshots, and saw Cowart fall against the house, stumble through the front door and collapse on the living room floor.
Dukes and Windsheimer sped off in a dark-colored SUV before police arrived, records state.
Cowart was pronounced dead at the scene from a gunshot wound.
Police secured charges in the homicide Sept. 18. Lake County authorities received information Oct. 2 that Windsheimer had been arrested in Illinois and began seeking his extradition, records show.
Dukes also has pleaded not guilty.
James Lenoir Williams
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