A Gary man convicted last year of attempted murder and criminal recklessness after shooting a woman four times in her Gary home and then shooting others inside the home, has received a fair trial, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.
William D. Galloway Jr., 29, was sentenced to 57 years in prison in connection with the September 18, 2019, shooting at the home in the 2500 block of Pierce Street.
According to court records, the woman spent nearly a week in hospital after the shooting and then had to undergo additional surgery to remove a bullet that had become lodged in her leg.
Nonetheless, records show the woman and her son, Sean Baker, successfully identified Galloway as the shooter in a series of police photos, and Baker provided a statement to police describing how Galloway, an acquaintance, stepped up his request for gas and a phone late at night. call for a violent altercation.
Baker, 23, was later shot and killed in Gary. No charges have been filed for his homicide.
In his appeal, Galloway argued that the trial court erred in allowing a detective to tell the jury Baker’s statements to police about the shooting and Baker’s identification of Galloway as the shooter. .
Galloway claimed he was denied the right under the U.S. and Indiana constitutions to confront his accuser because Baker himself failed to speak, court records show. .
The trial court noted that there is an exception to the confrontation clause, known as forfeiture by wrongdoing, which applies where a defendant is responsible for the absence of a witness at trial.
In that case, the court said that a police investigation that found several people who identified Galloway as Baker’s killer, and Galloway’s alleged confessions to other inmates that he killed Baker, showed by a preponderance of evidence that Galloway caused Baker’s inability to testify.
The Court of Appeal accepted. He said in a 3-0 ruling that his independent review of the facts and circumstances linking Galloway to Baker’s death had found enough evidence to believe that Galloway had acted to prevent Baker from testifying against him, and Baker’s testimony was therefore admissible at trial.
“Simply put, when a defendant does an act intended to prevent a witness from testifying, he or she may not reap the benefits of that wrongdoing. To hold otherwise would certainly undermine the efficiency of the judicial process,” said court of Appeal. .
Galloway can still ask the Indiana Supreme Court to review his case. Otherwise, his earliest possible release date from prison is Feb. 25, 2061, according to the Indiana Department of Corrections.
Separately, Galloway is due to stand trial in Lake County in October on charges of murder and attempted murder for a shooting that killed 23-year-old Jonquell Golida and injured a second man Nov. 12, 2016, in Gary’s Glen Park section.
According to court records, Galloway was on bail and under electronic monitoring in this case when he committed the Pierce Street shooting.