- Associated Press - Friday, June 29, 2018

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) - A judge says prosecutors cannot introduce evidence that a Gary man charged in a police officer’s fatal 1980 shooting allegedly committed rapes and robberies in the weeks leading up to the officer’s slaying.

A Lake County judge ruled Thursday that 55-year-old James Hill’s chance for a fair trial would be imperiled if jurors learned he was suspected in crimes unrelated to Hammond police officer Larry Pucalik’s killing.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports Hill and two defendants allegedly took part in a Hammond hotel robbery during which Pucalik was slain in November 1980 while working private security.

Prosecutors say Hill raped and robbed two women and raped a hitchhiker in the weeks before Pucalik’s murder and that evidence links the rapes to his killing. Hill’s trial is set for Aug. 27.


Information from: The Times, http://www.nwitimes.com

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