A murder defendant is scheduled to appear in Starke Circuit Court this afternoon for a status hearing. Gary Chavez is charged with murder, kidnapping and carjacking. Authorities say he killed his estranged wife, Kimberly Chavez, at their rural Knox home on June 6, drove to Mark Bailey’s Discount Center, left his car and kidnapped a store employee at gunpoint.
Chavez reportedly drove to English Lake, abandoned the stolen car and its owner and took another vehicle from a couple there. It broke down in Porter County, according to police, who say Chavez stole a pickup truck from two men who stopped to help him. Police managed to stop the truck on Interstate 65 near Crown Point. Chavez shot himself in the face as officers were approaching. He was released from a Chicagoland-area hospital in August. Chavez is due to appear before Starke Circuit Judge Kim Hall for a status hearing this afternoon at 1 p.m.