Jury finds Jerry Peteet guilty of attempted murder
By Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org December 7, 2012 12:04PM
Attorney Jerry Peteet in 2010. | Provided Photo~Sun Times Media
Updated: January 9, 2013 6:07AM
Local defense attorney Jerry “Angel” Peteet has been convicted in the attempted murder of Robert Taylor in March 2009 outside of a Gary restaurant.
A federal jury in St. Louis returned the verdict Friday morning after eight days of deliberation. The jury also found Peteet, 49, guilty of conspiracy to racketeer. He has been taken into custody.
Peteet, who practices and lives in Gary, was charged this summer with taking part in the criminal activities of the Wheels of Soul motorcycle gang. The charges stemmed from a federal case that started in Missouri but eventually spanned to defendants in seven other states, including Peteet.
Darnail Lyles, Peteet’s attorney, said his client was upset with the verdict.
“He was greatly disappointed because he didn’t shoot Mr. Taylor,” Lyles said Friday afternoon.
Peteet’s role in the case focused primarily on the shooting, which happened during a “bike night” that he and Taylor attended at the Diamond Club Center at the then-Bennigan’s restaurant next to the U.S. Steel Yard in downtown Gary.
Taylor, a member of the Sin City Disciples motorcycle club, told police that he was selling tickets during the bike night for a Sin City event when Peteet, a former Sin City member, approached him. As Taylor walked away, he was shot in the hip.
Peteet was charged in Lake County with battery with a deadly weapon in March 2010, but the charge was finally dropped in January. It was then followed by the federal charges this summer.
However, a week after Peteet was arrested in the federal case, another man, Barry D. Rogers, gave a signed affidavit to Lake County police saying he had shot Taylor. Federal attorneys said at the time that Peteet had violated his bond by having contact with Rogers, although he was allowed to remain free.
A federal judge barred that evidence from the trial, which started in October.
“I don’t feel good about that,” Lyles said. “It wasn’t fair.”
The case instead came down to credibility, he said, with Peteet and Taylor both testifying, along with two other government witnesses.
Lyles said Peteet, who faces up to 20 years in prison on the counts, will appeal the decision. Sentencing will take place sometime in March.