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Gary woman found guilty of killing boyfriend

Updated: April 6, 2013 4:41PM



A Lake Superior Court jury convicted a Gary woman of murder in the 2009 shooting death of her boyfriend.

Kaneka S. Kidd, who had been free on bail since May 2010, was ordered into custody following her conviction Friday for the murder of Jermaine Ellis, 37, who was shot 10 times. The six-woman, six-man jury deliberated 75 minutes before returning the guilty verdict.

Kidd will be held pending her May 10 sentencing hearing before Judge Diane Ross Boswell. Kidd faces 45 to 65 years.

During closing arguments, deputy prosecutors Michael Toth and DeKeyu Sumner argued that Kidd’s self-defense claim was voided when she pulled out her semi-automatic handgun and fired multiple shots at Ellis.

“I shot him 10 times,” Kidd is heard telling the Gary police 911 operator. But in a statement to Gary police Detective Ed Gonzalez, Kidd said she closed her eyes and started shooting until the magazine was empty but didn’t know how many shots she fired. The homicide occurred at about 3:30 a.m. Nov. 29, 2009.

In her statement, Kidd told police Ellis had grabbed the car door, which struck her in the head. She had her hand inside her purse on the gun when Ellis reached toward her from the driver’s seat while she was standing in the street with the door open. As Ellis tried to grab her shirt with his left hand while his right hand was on the gearshift, Kidd told police she flipped the safety off the gun and started shooting.

Defense attorney Scott King presented evidence that his client suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome based on a difficult childhood, the death of her 6-year-old son, Jaylen “Coconut” Ellis in a 2006 crash that also killed three others, and the alleged abuse by Ellis during their 16-year relationship.

“She pulled that trigger because she was terrified,” King said.

Sumner, however, said Kidd was not fearful, but angry. After the shots were fired, the witness reported hearing “Now, how do you like that?” Sumner recounted.



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