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Feds want to revoke Gary lawyer’s bail

Peteet  | Provided Photo~Sun Times Media

Peteet | Provided Photo~Sun Times Media

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Updated: August 1, 2012 6:07AM



Federal prosecutors want to revoke Gary lawyer Jerry Peteet’s bail, claiming he violated probation after he had contact with witnesses in his criminal case.

Peteet was arrested a week ago on federal charges of racketeering, attempted murder in aid of racketeering and tampering with a witness. The attempted murder charge is in connection to the shooting of Robert “Damn Fool” Taylor on March 28, 2009, outside of the former Bennigan’s restaurant in Gary.

He was released on a $20,000 bond and reported to the U.S. District Court in St. Louis, where the charges were filed, on Friday. He pleaded not guilty to the charges during an arraignment hearing Friday morning.

William Margulis, his court-appointed attorney, could not be reached for comment.

On Thursday, Peteet gave the Post-Tribune a copy of a notarized affidavit from Barry D. Rogers in which Rogers says he is the one who shot at Taylor.

However, federal prosecutors filed a motion on Thursday to detain Peteet, claiming that part of his probation rules required that he not have any contact with witnesses in his case.

The filing says that Peteet and four other people, three of whom were witnesses to the shooting, went to the Lake County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday and told the department the witnesses wanted to make statements in connection to the case.

Attorney Lemuel Stigler, who was representing a witness who wanted to make statements, told prosecutors that he and his client had been in touch with Peteet ever since Peteet had been released on bond. However, he claimed that Peteet did not tell them about his indictment or that the statements from the client might lead to federal charges.

The filing also says this isn’t the first time Peteet has had inappropriate contact with a witness. It goes on to detail the evidence behind the witness tampering charge, saying he tried to tamper with witnesses the day after the shooting until Jan. 12, 2011.

According to a transcription from a wire-tapped phone conversation Peteet had with co-defendant Allan “Dog “Hunter, Peteet said that a jury trial was a “numbers game” and that he would win if he had more witnesses saying he didn’t do it than witnesses who said he did. He also expressed anger that some of his fellow Wheels of Soul motorcycle gang members hadn’t stepped up to help and then said he would bribe them by offering them his legal services.

“Yeah, ‘cause I was saying, ‘it just a matter of time ‘fore your (expletive) ass to be in, in, in the fire,’” he said according to the filing. “Been doing this too long. Everybody have problems, and you’ll need help.”

The filing argues that Peteet is likely to continue contacting witnesses if he is allowed to return to Northwest Indiana.

“Peteet’s conduct, particularly given that he himself is an attorney and officer of the court, seems to constitute a violation of the conditions of his bond, and may even constitute a criminal offense,” the filing states.

A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Tuesday.



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