Court considering charges in 1980 police officer death

December 26, 2017

A state appeals court is considering whether to throw out the case against a northwestern Indiana man facing murder and other charges in connection with the 1980 shooting death of a police officer killed while working a private security job.

An attorney for James Hill of Gary argues that the delay by prosecutors until late 2016 in filing the charges hurt his chances of defending himself. The Post-Tribune reports defense attorney Scott King says Hill’s great-grandmother and great-uncle would’ve testified the then-17-year-old high school student was home when the shooting happened but have since died.

The state attorney general’s office says key evidence about Hill’s role as the getaway driver wasn’t available until recent years.

Authorities say Hammond Officer Lawrence Pucalik was killed during the armed robbery of a motel.


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