Gary Police Officer Murder Suspect Appears Before Judge
July 25, 2014 — The 26-year-old Portage resident who is accused of slaying Gary Patrolman Jeffery Westerfield on July 6th appeared Friday before a magistrate in a Lake County Jail courtroom.
Magistrate Kathleen Sullivan ordered Carl Blount Jr. to remain in jail without bond and told him that the murder charges against him can be enhanced. A public defender was named to represent him. Blount’s next court hearing is set for July 30th before Judge Samuel Cappas.
Blount Jr. is being charged with murder and could face 45 to 65 years in prison if he is convicted. Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said at Thursday’s announcement of the charges that, with Indiana‘s new sentencing guidelines, Blount would have to serve 75-percent of the imposed sentence.
Lake Conty Prosecutor Bernard Carter is considering seeking the death penalty, and Buncich said that decision could come in just a few days. Officer Westerfield’s fiancee is encouraging the prosecutor to made that decision. Denise Sheaks-Cather told the Post-Tribune, “Jeff is no longer here. We can’t see him or talk to him or touch him. Why should his family (meaning Blount’s family) be able to visit him and talk to him? Why are they any different?”
Carl Blount Jr. has an extensive criminal background, dating back to when he was a child.
[Carl Blount Jr. photo courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff’s Dept.]