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Property dispute drags on in latest domestic battery case against ex-councilman

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CROWN POINT — Jamal Washington continued to insist Monday a computer is "being hidden" from him as part of his latest domestic battery case, despite a deputy prosecutor's statement that he can pick up his property at the Gary police station.

Washington, 45, a former Lake County councilman with two domestic battery convictions, appeared before Lake Criminal Court Judge Diane Boswell.

Washington's attorney Michael Lambert said Washington believes one of the computers the state is ready to release to him doesn't belong to Washington.

Deputy Prosecutor Jessica Arnold said if the desktop computer to which Washington was referring is a gaming computer listed in court records, he may pick it up by making arrangements with detectives.

Police and prosecutors examined the computer and found no evidence on it, she said.

Police also were reviewing data on a laptop computer and two cellphones, which authorities determined do not belong to Washington. The cellphones will not be released to Washington, Arnold said.

If Washington believes there is any evidence on the property available for pickup, he is free to examine it himself, she said.

Police and prosecutors had been under a court order to review materials on the property in dispute and return any items that belong to Washington to him by Friday.

Lambert said Washington was having a difficult time reaching a detective to make arrangements to pick up his property. He said it might be better if there were a court order specifying which property was to be released by police.

Boswell told Lambert and Arnold to work together to prepare an order.

Washington is accused of beating and threatening to kill his one-time political ally LaVetta Sparks-Wade during a 16-hour ordeal Jan. 29 and 30 at her Gary home. Washington has pleaded not guilty.

A hearing on the state's petition to revoke Washington's probation on a November 2018 conviction for misdemeanor battery and interference with reporting a crime is scheduled for April 30.

Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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