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Hammond officer testifies in road-rage murder trial: No gun found in victim’s car

Updated: March 21, 2014 3:43PM



Lake Superior Court jurors on the road-rage murder trial of a former Cook County, Ill., correctional officer heard how evidence was collected at the scene where the victim’s car crashed into a gas pump.

Hammond police Cpl. Greg Adkins answered the call at the Luke gas station, 1051 Indianapolis Blvd., on Aug. 8, but shifted into his evidence technician role as he began photographing the scene where Montrell Moss, 23, of East Chicago, crashed his older-model Buick LeSabre after being shot in the shoulder.

Edgar Novera Singleton Jr., 61, of Chicago, has pleaded not guilty to murder.

Inside Singleton’s gold minivan, Adkins testified he found a spent 9 mm shell casing on the front passenger seat. Singleton, who was wearing his jail guard uniform at the time of the shooting, had a pistol on his hip. Adkins found three magazines loaded with 30 bullets. On the middle bench seat of the van, police found a Burger King cup containing some liquid.

Adkins said he checked inside Moss’ car, underneath it, including in the engine compartment, and inside six to eight garbage cans at the gas station looking for a gun, but didn’t find one. Singleton told police that Moss was reaching for a gun when he fired.

Moss was wounded in the left shoulder and the bullet bruised the top of his left rib, tore through his wind pipe and perforated his right lung, Dr. John Cavanaugh, a forensic pathologist with the Lake County coroner’s office, said.

Moss’ girlfriend, who has been hospitalized but is expected to testify Thursday, told police that Singleton had cut them off twice. Moss drove by Singleton’s van, called him a “bitch” and threw a Burger King cup at the van. Singleton then pulled up in the left turn lane at Indianapolis Boulevard and Casino Center Drive, and fired his pistol, the probable cause affidavit states.

Hammond police Detective Sgt. Kenneth Stump said two officers from the Cook County Sheriff’s Department came to the police station the day after the shooting and retrieved Singleton’s badge, ID card and swipe card. They also wanted Singleton to sign papers related to Singleton’s employment, Stump said.

Stump said when he opened the city jail door to get Singleton so Singleton could speak with the Cook County officers, Singleton asked: “Did you find a gun?”

“Maybe it was just semantics, but it seemed a little strange to me, not did you find ‘the’ gun but ‘a’ gun,” Stump said. “I told him we didn’t.”

Testimony is expected to resume before Judge Salvador Vasquez.



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