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Woman pleads guilty to shooting ex-boyfriend to death

Woman pleads guilty to shooting ex-boyfriend to death

Erin Nicolle Sowa

Erin Nicolle Sowa

CROWN POINT — A Highland woman pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charged in her ex-boyfriend's shooting death last year in Gary.

Erin N. Sowa, 24, could face 10 to 15 years in prison if Lake Criminal Court Judge Salvador Vasquez accepts her plea agreement.

Sowa admitted in her plea agreement she shot Anthony Syler, 27, of Gary, in the head "in sudden heat" April 8, 2020, in an alley east of the 700 block of Cleveland Street.

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In exchange for Sowa's plea, Lake County prosecutors agreed to dismiss a murder charge and a felony fraud case filed against her in May.

Syler was found in the alley with a gunshot wound in the top of his head and multiple cuts on his left arm. He also appeared to have a broken finger, a circular burn mark on another finger and bruising on his elbow, according to court records.

A neighbor told police he heard gunshots in the alley and saw a vehicle speeding away about 7:45 a.m. Detectives obtained surveillance video from several residents, which were instrumental in solving the case, Gary police Cmdr. Jack Hamady said last year.

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Sowa called Highland police about 8:47 p.m. and said she shot someone about 7:50 a.m. that morning and wanted to turn herself in, records state. She claimed she shot Syler in self-defense.

Lake County Deputy Prosecutor Tara Villarreal and defense attorney Patrick Young will argue the length of Sowa's sentence at a hearing set for May 21.


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