Merrillville man sentenced in killing girlfriend’s mom, brother

A 23-year prison sentence was handed a northwest Indiana man for the 2017 murder of his girlfriend’s mother and brother.

Robert Stewart of Merrillville pleaded guilty July 29 to voluntary manslaughter and reckless homicide charges in the deaths of 55-year-old Candice Halbe and her 27-year-old son, Ryan Halbe. The 37-year-old Stewart fatally shot them Dec. 26, 2017, during an argument at the victims’ home, where Stewart was living with his girlfriend.

The girlfriend told police Stewart was intoxicated on the day of the shooting and became physical with the victims’ family. He pulled a gun from his waistband and began firing.

Stewart’s guilty plea was part of an agreement between him and the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office, which dismissed murder charges that would have resulted in a much longer sentence.

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