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Family friend gets 35 years in shooting death

Updated: August 21, 2014 6:50AM



Lake Superior Court Judge Clarence Murray imposed the maximum 35-year sentence Friday for voluntary manslaughter for a Gary man who killed a longtime family friend in 2010.

Steven Lamarr Walker, 39, apologized to his family and the family of George Lewis, 46, whom Walker shot in the head and ankle with a rifle after getting into an argument Oct. 1, 2010, with his brother, William.

The dispute between the brothers turned physical and the two men left. When Steven Walker returned, he appeared as though he’d been beaten up. Steven Walker and Lewis got into a brief verbal dispute as Lewis was visiting with friends on the front porch step.

“Ain’t nobody gonna be laughing at me when I come back,” Walker said before driving away.

A short time later, he returned and asked Lewis where his brother was. Lewis told him he didn’t know.

Walker admitted he was upset and enraged at being laughed at after his brother beat him up and shot Lewis in the heat of the moment.

Walker’s mother, Jimmie Lee Walker, said she considered Lewis like a nephew. Lewis’ mother was her godmother. Walker said her son was addicted to heroin at the time. “This killing destroyed two families,” she said.

Sheila Hardin said Lewis killed her youngest brother but she still loves him and his mother.

Deputy prosecutor Judy Massa argued for the maximum sentence outlined in the plea agreement. Massa said Walker’s troubles with the law began when he was a juvenile. Defense attorney Stephen Scheele said his client has made productive use of the nearly four years he has spent in the Lake County Jail by participating in several programs, including a 12-step program to fight chemical dependency.

Murray called the crime “absolutely tragic and senseless, all because your pride was injured.”

The last three years of Walker’s sentence will be served on probation.

After the sentencing hearing, Walker’s mother and Lewis’ sister stood arm in arm as tears streamed down their faces.

“We’re just family, always have been, always will be,” Jimmie Lee Walker said. Hardin her head.



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