Teens charged in slaying of Gary delivery driver

By The Associated Press

GARY — Two teenage boys, one of whom already faced a murder charge, have been charged in the fatal shooting last fall of a pizza delivery driver in Gary.

Melvin M. Brown and Arshield Honeycutt, both 17 and from Gary, were charged Tuesday with murder in the Oct. 26 slaying of Phillip Hearne, who was delivering a pizza for Rico’s.

According to records filed in Lake County Criminal Court, after Hearne arrived in Gary’s Glen Park neighborhood and exited his SUV he was shot in his left side. He got back into the SUV and drove away before crashing into two other cars, and died later at a hospital.

Brown and Honeycutt were also charged Tuesday with armed robbery and theft for allegedly robbing a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver of about $10 after luring him to the same address the day before Hearne's killing.

Court records show that the same phone number linked to Hearne’s homicide was used to place the Domino's Pizza delivery order on Oct. 25 before that driver was robbed, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

A magistrate entered not guilty pleas on behalf of both teens Wednesday during their initial hearings in Hearne's killing, online court records show. The youths were charged in adult court, said Bradley Carter, a spokesman for the Lake County Prosecutor's office.

Brown has been in custody since March, when he was charged with murder in the fatal Jan. 12 shooting of Marcelis Stevenson, 21, of Gary.

During Wednesday's initial hearing, a judge appointed a public defender to represent Brown in Hearne's killing. A message seeking comment was left Thursday with the Lake County Public Defender's office.

Honeycutt remains at large and online court records do not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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