Kidnapping Victim Testifies in Chavez Trial

 The Knox man who claims he was kidnapped from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center last June by a murder suspect was the first witness to testify in his trial. Gary Chavez is also on trial for kidnapping and carjacking stemming from a June 6, 2014 incident. He’s accused of stabbing his estranged wife, Kimberly Chavez, to death at his rural California Township home, driving to Mark Bailey’s and kidnapping employee Bryant Wagner at gunpoint as he sat in his 2005 Monte Carlo in the store parking lot. Continue reading

Opening Arguments Scheduled Today in Starke County Murder Trial

 The state will begin presenting its case today against the Knox man who is accused of killing his estranged wife, kidnapping an employee from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center and stealing a car from a couple in English Lake. Gary Chavez is on trial for murder, kidnapping and carjacking in connection with the June 6, 2014 incidents. His trial started yesterday with jury selection, which took the entire day. Continue reading

Murder Trial on Schedule in Starke Circuit Court

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. Continue reading

Surgery Delays Murder Trial, Prompts Reevaluation of Jail Medical Contract

  A murder trial scheduled to start April 13 in Starke Circuit Court has been pushed back to at least July so the defendant can have surgery deemed medically necessary by a provider under contract with the county. Gary Chavez is accused of beating his estranged wife, Kimberly Chavez, to death at their rural California Township home last June. From there police say he drove to Mark Bailey’s Discount Center, kidnapped an employee and drove to English Lake where he’s accused of stealing a second vehicle. Chavez then led police on a high-speed chase into LaPorte and Porter Counties, according to court records. He’s accused of stealing a third vehicle in Kouts and continuing into Lake County. Police there say Chavez shot himself in the face when officers in Crown Point managed to stop his vehicle. He was airlifted to a Chicagoland area hospital and released to the custody of the Starke County Sheriff last August. Chavez remains in jail. Continue reading

Final Pretrial Hearing Set for Murder Defendant

Next month’s murder trial for a Knox man accused of killing his estranged wife at their rural California Township home last June is still on schedule. Gary Chavez is charged with murder, kidnapping and carjacking. Police say he beat his wife Kimberly to death on June 6, 2014, drove to Mark Bailey’s Discount Center and kidnapped an employee who was sitting in his car in the store parking lot. The two drove to English Lake where Chavez is accused of stealing another vehicle at gunpoint and leading authorities on a high-speed chase through LaPorte and Porter Counties. That vehicle broke down near Kouts, which is where Chavez allegedly stole a pickup truck at gunpoint from two men who stopped to help him. Police in Lake County deployed stop sticks on Interstate 65 near Crown Point in an attempt to end the pursuit. That’s when Chavez shot himself in the face. He spent two months in a Chicago hospital before being released to the custody of the Starke County Sheriff and has been jailed ever since. Continue reading

Murder Defendant Out of Hospital, Jailed Without Bond

Starke County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 6, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

Starke County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 6, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

The rural Knox man accused of beating his wife to death, kidnapping a man from a business parking lot, stealing a Jeep at gunpoint in English Lake and leading authorities on a high-speed chase through three counties before shooting himself is back in Starke County. Detective Rob Olejniczak from the Starke County Sheriff’s Department and Jailer Joshua Kazee picked Gary Chavez up from the Cook County, Ill. jail today. Continue reading

Starke County Prosecutor Files Three Charges Against Chavez

Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff has filed three felony charges against the Knox man accused of stealing two cars in Starke County and a third in Hebron before shooting himself when police in Lake County used stop sticks to end a high-speed chase Friday afternoon. Continue reading

Charges Expected Today Against Carjacking Suspect

Starke County Prosecutor Nicholas Bourff hopes to file formal charges today against the Knox man accused of stealing two cars and leading police on a high speed chase Friday afternoon. Police say Gary Chavez, 57, of Knox, commandeered the first car in the Mark Bailey’s Discount Center parking lot at 3:41 p.m. He switched vehicles in English Lake, according to authorities, and left the owner of the first stolen car behind when he took a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee.  Continue reading

Coroner Releases Preliminary Autopsy Results in Chavez Death

The estranged wife of the Knox man accused of stealing three vehicles and leading police on a high-speed chase through four counties Friday afternoon was murdered. Kimberly Chavez, 50, of Portage, was found dead Friday evening at the home of her estranged husband, Gary. Continue reading

Porter County Prosecutor Files Charge Against Chavez

Gary Chavez is accused of stealing this 1988 GMC Sierra pickup truck from two men in Hebron Friday afternoon.

Gary Chavez is accused of stealing this 1988 GMC Sierra pickup truck from two men in Hebron Friday afternoon.

The first of several charges has been filed against the Knox man police say stole two cars in Starke County Friday afternoon, led police on a high-speed chase, stole a third vehicle in Porter County and shot himself after officers in Lake County used stop sticks to flatten the tires of the truck he was driving. Gary Chavez, 57, is still in critical condition at Christ Advocate Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. Continue reading

Prosecutor Waiting for Autopsy Report Before Filing Charges Against Chavez

Starke County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 8, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

Starke County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 8, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

Starke County Prosecutor Nichoals Bourff does not anticipate filing charges against the Knox man police say stole two cars in Starke County and led them on a high-speed chase through four northwest Indiana counties until at least tomorrow. Gary Chavez, 57, of Knox is still in critical condition at Christ Advocate Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. He’s been there since Friday night after shooting himself in an apparent attempt to avoid arrest by police in Crown Point. They used stop sticks to flatten the tires on the truck Chavez was driving. Continue reading

Accused Carjacker Still Critical, Formal Charges Pending

Officers from the Crown Point Police Department used stop sticks to end a four-county high-speed chase Friday afternoon.

Officers from the Crown Point Police Department used stop sticks to end a four-county high-speed chase Friday afternoon.

The Knox man police say stole three vehicles and led officers from multiple departments on a high-speed chase through four counties Friday afternoon is still in critical condition at Christ Advocate Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill. The pursuit started in Starke County when Gary Chavez, 57, of Knox, allegedly stole a car at gunpoint from the parking lot at Mark Bailey’s Discount Center. Continue reading

More Information Expected Today on Carjacking, Apparent Homicide

Starke County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about the June 8, 2014 carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

Starke County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Dulin and Prosecutor Nick Bourff speak to the media about Friday’s carjacking and ensuing pursuit.

The Starke County Prosecutor’s Office expects to file formal charges today against the Knox man accused of stealing two cars in Starke County and leading police from multiple agencies on a high-speed chase through four counties Friday afternoon. Continue reading

Starke County Coroner Tentatively Identifies Apparent Homicide Victim

The apparent homicide victim found late Friday afternoon at a rural Knox home after a high speed chase that started with a carjacking at Mark Bailey’s Discount Center and ended with a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Interstate 65 in Lake County has been tentatively identified. Continue reading