Chesterton Tribune

Marijuana grow operation found at scene of homicides

Back to Front Page





Detectives investigating the double homicide in Center Township on Saturday found a marijuana grow operation at the murder scene, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said.

PCSP Sgt. Larry LaFlower told the Chesterton Tribune today that, after responding officers observed marijuana plants in a room off the kitchen, search warrants were obtained listing the following possible items of interest: marijuana, cocaine, heat lamps, thermometers, cell phones, bags, and currency as well as potential physical evidence like bullet casings and fragments and blood.

Those warrants were executed and a marijuana grow operation discovered, LaFlower said.

The two victims of the homicide have been identified as the occupants of the home at 1558 W. Lincolnway, Jeffery Trinka, 40, and Jennifer Guinn, 31, of Hammond.

Charged with both murders is Julius Jovan Garza, 19, of Hammond.

Garza was taken into custody at the scene and police said that an AK-47 recovered there was determined to have been purchased by him on Nov. 9, 2011.

Also recovered was a .25 caliber pistol.

Police believe that Trinka was shot in the doorway of the home with the AK-47 and Guinn in the living room with the pistol.

Garza, for his part, advised police that he was visiting the home, heard a knock on the door, and hid in the bedroom, where he heard gunshots, a “male white” saying “You better not be calling the cops,” a female saying that she wasn’t, and then more gun shots.

But police said that there is no male voice heard in the background of the 911 call which Guinn made and that Guinn spoke to no one besides the dispatcher during that call.

Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper has set trial for Sept. 17.


Posted 4/12/2012