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1998 Gary shooting death results in 8-year sentence

Updated: December 28, 2012 6:19AM



Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez imposed the maximum eight-year sentence for reckless homicide in a 1998 shooting death in Gary.

Vasquez said Samuel Fabela’s extensive criminal history, which includes five felony and three misdemeanor convictions, warranted the maximum sentence for the reduced charge that Fabela pleaded guilty to on Oct. 24. Fabela had faced 45 to 65 years on the original murder charge, which was filed in May.

Fabela admitted he met with Jeremy Hubbard, 23, on Feb. 9, 1998 in an alley near Ridge Road and Colfax Street in Gary for a drug deal. An argument ensued, and Fabela fired one shot at Hubbard, 23, killing him.

The victim’s aunt, Ollie Hubbard, questioned whether Fabela felt a shred of remorse in the murder that occurred more than 14 years ago. She described her nephew as laughing, joking and full of love, his arms typically open to give a loving embrace. The last time his arms were open, however, Hubbard said her nephew was pleading for his life. The bullet pierced Hubbard’s heart and lungs.

Defense attorney Richard Wolter Jr. said his client was 17 at the time and used poor judgment. He said there was no evidence the crime was premeditated.

Kathleen O’Halloran, a trial supervisor in the prosecutor’s office, argued for the maximum sentence, noting Hubbard left behind his parents, siblings, two children and extended family. She said Fabela’s criminal history ”began young and continued,” and includes crimes of violence.

Fabela apologized to the victim’s family and his own family.

Before the judge pronounced the sentence, a man had to be removed from the courtroom. “I’ll get the bastard,” he said before he was thrown out.



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