Chesterton Tribune


Two charged in apparent murder-for-hire in Portage man's death

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The Portage man who was shot to death outside his home on Locust Street earlier this month is believed to have been the victim of a murder-for-hire scheme arranged by the estranged wife of his employer, Portage Police said on Tuesday.

Charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder, in connection with the death of Carl Griffith Sr., was Sheaurice D. Major, 42, of 5236 Mulberry Ave., Apt. B-3, the estranged wife of Griffith’s employer, the owner of Affordable Towing.

Also charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder was Dontaye D. Singletary, 20, of Gary. Investigators believe that Singletary was the shooter on the night of Nov. 1.

Major is in custody at the Porter County Jail. Singletary remained at large this morning.

At around 8:05 p.m. Nov. 1, officers responded to a report of gunshot in the 2700 block of Locust Street, where they found Griffith lying in a front yard. Griffith was subsequently pronounced dead at Porter Portage Hospital Campus and an autopsy determined that he had sustained three gunshot wounds. Investigators recovered two spent cartridges and a single projectile at the scene, consistent with a 7.62 x 39 caliber assault rifle.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed by Det. Janis Regnier, earlier in the day on Nov. 1 Griffith, a tow truck driver, was dispatched to an address in Kentucky Street in Gary, after Affordable Towing received a call from a woman seeking a tow. As Griffith arrived at the scene, however, a man—who investigators suspect was Singletary—began shooting at Griffith. At some point, the shooter’s gun apparently jammed and he fled the scene, with Griffith escaping injury.

Investigators subsequently determined that the original call to Affordable Towing, requesting the Kentucky Street job, had been placed by a woman who made the call at Singletary’s request. The woman told investigators that she knows Singletary “‘from the hood’” and believes that he belongs to the Vice Lords.

Meanwhile, in an interview with investigators, Sheaurice Major identified one of the numbers called by Singletary near the time of Griffith’s shooting as belonging to a friend. Investigators made contact with that friend, who advised that about a week before the shooting Major told her that she wanted Griffith hurt and asked her friend whether she knew anyone who would do it. Major’s friend “advised that she did and arranged for Dontaye Singletary and Sheaurice Major to get in touch with each other.”

On Nov. 1, 2012, (Major) told her friend to wait for Singletary near Griffith’s residence. Major’s friend did as Major asked her and advised that while she was waiting Singletary called her to inquire about her location. Then she heard gun shots, Singletary ran up to her car, entered it, told her leave the scene fast, and noted that “I got him,” Regnier stated in her probable cause affidavit.

Major’s friend drove Singletary to Gary and dropped him off across the street from the Steel Yard. On returning to Portage, Major’s friend got a call from Major, who asked her friend to deliver $200 and a sealed envelope to Singletary, which she did, Regnier stated in her affidavit.


Posted 11/14/2012