Chavez Appears in Starke Circuit Court for Initial Hearing

 The man accused of beating his estranged wife to death at a home in Knox, kidnapping an employee in a vehicle from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center, and carjacking a vehicle from a couple in English Lake appeared in Starke Circuit Court Monday afternoon for his initial hearing.

Gary Chavez pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, kidnapping and carjacking. He told Judge Kim Hall that his family is working on getting an attorney for him. An attorney status hearing is set for Sept. 5 at 9 a.m. but will be vacated if a notice of an attorney has been filed with the court. His omnibus date was set for Oct. 9.

Chavez remains in the Starke County Jail with no bond.

It is alleged that on June 6 Chavez beat his estranged wife, Kimberly Chavez, to death at his home in Knox. After the act, Chavez allegedly traveled to Mark Bailey’s Discount in North Judson, pointed a gun at an employee and ordered him to move to the passenger seat and commandeered the vehicle. Chavez then reportedly stopped at a home in English Lake and stole a vehicle at a residence at gunpoint.

Those are the incidents in which he has been charged in Starke County. He could face other charges in Porter County in a continuation of the course of events alleged in Starke County. According to a police report, he stole another vehicle outside of Kouts in Porter County and led police on a chase until stop sticks halted his progress. It was when officers approached his vehicle that he shot himself in the face.

A Starke County deputy and a jailer extradited Chavez back to Starke County to face charges here last week. He had been hospitalized in a Chicago-area hospital and was being held in the Cook County Jail.