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Lake County courts: Merrillville man charged with attempted murder

Crown Point man gets 5 years probation

A 48-year-old Crown Point man who admitted he stabbed his roommate in Merrillville last year was placed on probation for five years for battery resulting in serious bodily injury.

Roger L. Whitt, who had faced 20 to 50 years in prison on an attempted murder charge, admitted he attacked Darrin Gugala from behind and stabbed him three times on July 28 at the residence they shared in the 9500 block of Sullivan Court.

Chief deputy prosecutor Barbara McConnell called Gugala to the witness stand to give a victim-impact statement. Gugala told Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez he wanted the plea agreement to go forward and didn’t want to see Whitt go to prison. Gugala suffered a punctured lung as a result of the attack.

Defense attorney James Thiros said Whitt attempted suicide after stabbing Gugala. For a few weeks leading up to the crime, Thiros said his client had been abusing prescription painkillers.

Vasquez said the presentence investigation report makes no mention of any drug abuse problems, but Whitt confirmed he had been taking pills.

The plea agreement called for dismissal of attempted murder, aggravated battery and battery charges.

Merrillville man charged with attempted murder

A 24-year-old Merrillville man with two prior felony convictions has been charged with attempted murder in a July 2 shooting outside an apartment complex.

Raymon Lee Truitt II, is charged with wounding Darious Gorham outside one of the buildings in the Tiberon Trails apartment complex in unincorporated Lake County.

Gorham told police he heard someone yelling and saw two men walking toward him with handguns pointed at him.

He heard gunshots and got up to run inside when he realized he was wounded in the upper right thigh. A witness told police both men got into a car and left after the shooting.

Gorham underwent surgery but developed complications afterward, the probable cause affidavit states.

In addition to attempted murder, Truitt also is charged with aggravated battery, battery by means of a deadly weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and felon carrying a handgun. Truitt has convictions in Lake County for robbery and battery. He is on probation and has other pending cases.



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