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Trial delayed for man charged with killing woman, dumping body in forest preserve

Trial delayed for man charged with killing woman, dumping body in forest preserve

CROWN POINT — A Gary man won't face a jury until June on charges alleging he beat a woman to death in August 2019 and dumped her body in an Illinois forest preserve.

James McGhee, 39, had been scheduled to stand trial starting Feb. 22. The Indiana Supreme Court last month extended a suspension of all in-person jury trials through March 1 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lake Criminal Court Judge Diane Boswell on Wednesday rescheduled McGhee's trial to begin June 1.

The twelfth installment of Riding Shotgun with NWI Cops features the Lake County Sheriff's Department's Aviation Unit, led by Lt. Randy Phillips. Video shot by Kale Wilk and produced by Nat Cardona. Interview by Anna Ortiz.

McGhee was released from Lake County Jail in November, after Boswell granted his motion because prosecutors did not bring him to trial in time while holding him in custody.

He's now awaiting trial under house arrest in the homicide of 27-year-old Sidne-Nichole Buchanan.

A friend of McGhee's led police to Buchanan's body Aug. 12, 2019, at the Thornton-Lansing Road Nature Preserve in unincorporated Cook County. The friend told police McGhee admitted he "lost it" and beat Buchanan to death, court records allege.

 McGhee's pretrial hearing was set for May 11.

Homicides increased and Lake and LaPorte counties last year, but decreased in Porter County.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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