Guilty verdict in South Haven bar shooting
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent May 24, 2012 6:06PM
Updated: July 3, 2012 10:00AM
VALPARAISO — It took a jury less than two hours Thursday to find a Lake Station man guilty of attempted murder for shooting a Gary man in the face in a South Haven bar.
Jason D. King, 37, showed no emotions as the jury declared him guilty of Class A felony attempted murder in the February 2011 shooting of Woodrow McGuire Jr.
They also found him guilty of Class B felony battery but not guilty of Class D felony possession of stolen property for the gun he used that night.
King faces a 20- to 50-year prison sentence for the Class A felony when he next appears in Porter Circuit Court on July 24.
The Class B felony carries a sentence of six to 20 years but would probably be served concurrently because both charges are part of the same crime.
For McGuire, the verdict begins closure on the shooting.
“I’m just happy justice was served,” McGuire said. “I’m just waiting for sentencing.”
His face has been surgically repaired since the incident, but he described his life as not back to normal, but better.
Deputy prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said during her closing arguments that McGuire survived because of instinctive reactions.
“The fact that Woodrow McGuire leaned back probably saved his life,” she said.
She argued that King pulled the .22-caliber H&R revolver after crowding McGuire at a bar that had enough room for everyone there.
Witnesses said there was no fight before the shooting, and a friend of McGuire said he saw King shot McGuire.
The friend followed King and alerted the bouncers. King took the stand Thursday and said he saw someone reach over his shoulder and shoot McGuire but didn’t turn to look at who did it.
Defense attorney Larry Rogers argued the police did no investigation, relying on the friend’s word but not finding collaborating witnesses, not testing McGuire for gunpowder residue and not looking for a recording of the streaming video that Jim Beam Warehouse on U.S. 6 put over the Internet. The gun King used was stolen in 2006 during a purse snatching.