Judge overturns conviction in Indiana officer’s 1980 killing


CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — A judge has overturned a man’s conviction in the 1980 fatal shooting of an off-duty Hammond police officer because prosecutors failed to disclose evidence that could have helped his case.

Lake County Criminal Court Judge Salvador Vasquez set aside James Hill Jr.’s murder conviction Tuesday after a prosecutor and an attorney for the 58-year-old Gary man filed a joint motion.

The Times of Northwest Indiana reports that the two sides say prosecutors failed to disclose evidence that was exculpatory or could have been used to test witnesses’ credibility.

Hill was convicted in 2018 of murder in the November 1980 killing of Officer Lawrence Pucalik.

A prosecutor says he plans to re-try Hill for Pucalik’s death.

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