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Trial begins in 2017 homicide of a Hammond mother
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Trial begins in 2017 homicide of a Hammond mother

CROWN POINT — Prosecutors pressed home the horror of a Hammond woman’s 2017 killing to jurors in Omarion E. Wilbourn’s murder trial.

Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Michelle Marie Jatkiewicz gave the court a video tour of the crime scene from the body cam worn by Hammond Police Officer Enrique Cook.

Cook, the first officer on the scene, and emergency medical workers walked through the front door of a house in the 7500 block of Alexander Avenue, just west of Hammond’s Dowling Park.

He found 25-year-old Lucia “Lucy” Gonzalez, lying dead in a pool of blood on her kitchen floor.

Medical staff quickly realized she was dead and began pointing out the large and numerous cuts and stab wounds.

Join Sandy Curry, Willie Hall, and Michael Quiroz as they ride for Superior Ambulance in East Chicago

Her disheveled clothes and other graphic images caused some members of the victim’s family to bolt out of the courtroom rather than look on.

Cook told jurors it was the most jarring scene he had witnessed, but the most poignant moments came when he talked to the victim’s 6-year-old daughter, who had awakened to this and took her younger siblings to a neighbor’s house.

Cook said, “Allison didn’t want to believe what was going on. She didn’t want to believe it was her mother. She told me she thought it was some man."

“You are not a police officer anymore. You become a father. (I have a daughter that age.) It was gut wrenching, It hurt,” Cook said.

Cook was one of the first witnesses to testify in for the state in the opening day of testimony.

Jatkiewicz and defense attorney John Maksimovich took much of Monday to pick a jury to judge Wilbourn, 19, of Hammond.

He is pleading not guilty to a four-year-old murder charge.

The prosecution has alleged in court papers the defendant’s girlfriend saw Wilbourn running from the victim’s home the night of the homicide.

Police said she recognized the house because she and Wilbourn used to buy marijuana there from Gonzales' boyfriend.

Cook said there were signs of an apparent struggle inside the house with no indication of forced entry.

The prosecution has previously alleged police obtained data records of the victim’s missing cellphone and located it in a house, two miles from the crime scene, in Hammond’s Woodmar section.

Officers said they found Wilbourn asleep on a mattress and the missing cell phone under his pillow.

Wilbourn told police he got the cell phone from another boy, though that boy denied it.

The prosecution has further alleged the presence of the victim’s DNA on Wilbourn’s underwear.

Wilbourn has been in custody since his arrest in 2017.

He already is serving a 40-year prison he received last month after pleading guilty to the rape of a 14-year-old girl and a 25-year-old woman only weeks before the homicide.

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