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Gary teen pleads guilty to his role in double homicide

Updated: June 17, 2014 2:41PM



A Gary teen faces a maximum 65-year sentence after he pleaded guilty Thursday to murder and robbery in a double homicide.

Johnte Crawford, 18, admitted to Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez that he fatally shot Shaqwone Ham, 19, on March 17, 2013, in the 2500 block of West 15th Avenue in Gary. Crawford was with three other people at the time.

Crawford also admitted that before the shooting, and with the help of others, he stole headphones and a cellphone of Derrick Thompson while displaying a handgun.

After the robbery, Crawford and the others encountered Ham and his brother, Charles Wood, 18, as they walked in the 2500 block of West 13th Avenue in Gary.

“Upon reaching Charles Wood and Shaqwone Ham, another person shot Charles Wood in the head, at which time Shaqwone Ham fled on foot,” according to documents filed with Crawford’s plea agreement. While Ham ran, Crawford shot and killed Ham.

Ham died at the scene. Wood was removed from life support and died the following day.

Crawford was 17 at the time.

The judge scheduled a July 11 sentencing hearing where defense attorney Patrick Young and deputy prosecutor Michael Woods will argue an appropriate sentence.

Co-defendant Donnell D. Wilson, 17, of Gary, has pleaded not guilty. His case is set for trial before Vasquez beginning June 30 on two counts of murder and robbery, a Class B felony punishable by six to 20 years. Murder carries a sentencing range of 45 to 65 years.



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