Man withdraws effort challenging conviction in officer’s death

A man who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for fatally shooting a Gary police officer in 2014 has withdrawn his effort to challenge his conviction.

Carl Le’Ellis Blount filed a petition last year alleging Lake County prosecutors threatened him to get him to plead guilty to murder in the shooting death of Gary Patrolman Jeffrey Westerfield. He said prosecutors threatened to file murder charges against him in two other cases and to seek the death penalty.

The Post-Tribune reported the 30-year-old asked to withdraw his petition in April, but a reason wasn’t given. The Lake County prosecutor’s office has denied Blount’s allegations.

Blount pleaded guilty in 2017 in return for prosecutors not charging him in connection with a double slaying in Gary, also in 2014.

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