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CROWN POINT — A 39-year-old man charged with murder in a car mechanic's killing last summer in Lake Station will appear at trial in July.

Alexander Wilderness III is charged with murder in Lake Criminal Court on allegations he fatally shot Joseph Martin, 40, of Portage, on July 3 at a mechanic's garage in the 2400 block of Ripley Street, according to court records.

A witness told police Wilderness shot Martin after he refused to work on Wilderness' vehicle. 

Wilderness is charged in a separate case with attempted murder on allegations he shot and injured that witness three days later in the 4600 block of Connecticut Street in Gary, records state.

The Lake County Prosecutor's Office filed a motion last month requesting a single trial be held for the two cases, but prosecutors withdrew that motion at a court hearing Thursday.

Scott King, a defense attorney for Wilderness, requested at Thursday's hearing Judge Diane Boswell schedule a trial for the murder case.

Boswell scheduled a July 16 trial for the murder. A pretrial conference is scheduled for May 16.

Though Wilderness was granted a combined $100,000 surety bond for the two cases, he remained in custody Thursday, according to court records.

Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


Courts and social justice reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.