William "Bill" Landske, the husband of the late state Sen. Sue Landske, pleaded not guilty Monday to a murder charge stemming from allegations he fatally shot Lake County lawyer and family friend T. Edward Page in his Hobart home last week, the Times of Northwest Indiana reported.
The Times reported Monday that Landske, 83, appeared in a Lake County criminal court before Judge Kathleen Sullivan, who is a close friend of Page. A preliminary plea of not guilty was entered on Landske’s behalf as he sat among seven other men accused of various crimes. His plea will be formally entered during an Aug. 31 court appearance that is expected to be before Judge Salvador Vasquez.
Landske was arrested last week on allegations that he fatally shot Page at the attorney’s Hobart home. The late senator’s husband allegedly told authorities he shot Page because he was frustrated with the attorney's lack of progress in his deceased wife's tax case, claiming he “procrastinated.”
The shooting occurred Aug. 15, when Landske was at Page's residence with his two daughters to collect tax paperwork Page had in his possession. After pulling Page aside, Landske shot him in the stomach four times, the Times reported. A shot to the upper abdomen killed Page instantly.
If convicted, Landske’s murder charge is punishable by 45 to 65 years in prison and $10,000 in fines, Sullivan said, according to the NWI Times.
Page, an attorney at Thiros & Thiros in Merrillville, had also worked as a Lake County public defender for the past 10 years. He additionally served as a senior judge, having served as a Lake Superior magistrate judge from 1984-2000. Chief public defender Marce Gonzalez Jr. said Page submitted a letter of retirement on Aug. 14 that was effective at the end of the month.
According to the NWI Times report, Landke seemed at ease during Monday’s court hearing, but twice mistakenly thought the judge was speaking to him while she was reading charges for the other defendants.