Blount enters not guilty plea in killing of Gary cop
By Ruth Ann Krause Post-Tribune correspondent July 30, 2014 12:22PM
Updated: September 1, 2014 7:55AM
CROWN POINT — A Gary man charged with murder in the shooting of Gary police Patrolman Jeffrey Westerfield had a brief appearance in court Wednesday to formally enter a not guilty plea.
Carl Le’Ellis Blount, who turned 26 on Tuesday, waived the reading of the charge through his attorney, Robert Varga, as he stood shackled before Lake Superior Court Judge Samuel Cappas with extra security officers present. Blount’s omnibus hearing is Sept. 17.
Deputy prosecutors David Urbanski and Monica Rogina are prosecuting the case.
Blount is charged in the July 6 shooting of Westerfield, 47, whose last radio traffic at 4:26 a.m. was to ask for a description of Blount on the department’s Channel 3 as Westerfield sat in his police car at 26th Avenue and Van Buren Place in Gary. Channel 3 is used for car-to-car communication and isn’t the department’s regular broadcast channel.
A citizen called police at 5:49 a.m. after noticing the car in the same spot more than an hour later, court records state.
Blount and his girlfriend had been involved in a domestic disturbance over Blount’s alleged affair with another woman outside 2340 McKinley St. The couple struggled over the gun Blount had in his possession, the probable cause affidavit states. His girlfriend, Jennifer Guzman, told police the gun “just went off” and she thought she might have wounded Blount in the thigh. Blount picked up a shell casing and the gun and fled the area.
Guzman’s child’s grandmother called police regarding the dispute in front of her home.
Blount told his brother, Dontae Blount, in a phone conversation that he had to end the call because he’d seen a police officer nearby with his spotlight activated. He told his brother he was near the residence in the 2600 block of Jackson Street and would soon be home. The brother told police that shortly after the call ended, he heard gunfire. The brother grabbed his handgun and opened the front door to see what was happening. Blount ran toward the residence at full speed. Once inside, Blount, who had a .40-caliber handgun in his possession, told his brother he shot the officer while the officer’s attention was diverted, court records state.
Video surveillance footage shows a man wearing Nike shoes and carrying something in his hand near the residence at 2659 Jackson St. When police who were questioning Blount showed him the photograph from the video footage, Blount said: “Is that something in my hand?” court records state.