Murder Trial Starts Today in Starke Circuit Court


The trial for a Knox man accused of killing his estranged wife last June at his rural California Township residence gets under way today with jury selection.

Gary Chavez is charged with murder, kidnapping and carjacking in Starke County. Investigators say he killed Kimberly Chavez of Portage on June 6th, drove his personal vehicle to Mark Bailey’s Discount Center on State Road 10 and kidnapped an employee. From there Chavez allegedly drove to English Lake where he’s accused of stealing another vehicle at gunpoint.

He led law enforcement from several agencies on a multi-county, high-speed chase. Chavez was arrested in Lake County after officers there used stop sticks to disable a third stolen vehicle he was driving. He shot himself in the face as officers were approaching. Chavez spent several weeks in a Chicagoland area hospital before being transported to Starke County.

At this time it is unclear whether Chavez will testify. The court has set aside two weeks for the proceedings.