Chavez Testimony Expected Today in Murder Trial

 The fate of a Knox man accused of killing his estranged wife, kidnapping an employee from Mark Bailey’s Discount Center and carjacking an English Lake couple last June 6th will soon be in the hands of a jury in Starke Circuit Court.

First Gary Chavez is expected to take the stand in his defense. The state rested its case against him late yesterday morning. They called a total of 15 witnesses. Testimony yesterday cited text messages and call logs recovered from his cell phone as indicating Chavez and the victim, Kimberly Chavez of Portage, had been in contact via text message that morning. During that exchange he indicated he was not feeling well and sent her a text that read, “I think I’m dying.” Kim’s last text to Gary was sent at 12:52 p.m. It said,” Answer your phone!!!!” Records also indicate she tried to call him seven times, with the final call placed at 1:41 p.m.

Investigators from the Starke County Sheriff’s Office responded to his rural California Township home just before 4 p.m. that afternoon. They found Kimberly Chavez face-down and barefoot, wrapped in a grill cover next to side of the house. Earlier testimony indicates blood on the ground nearby is consistent with someone dragging her body to that spot. A forensic pathologist testified blood on Gary Chavez’s boots and jeans matches Kimberly’s DNA.

In response to a question from the defense, Indiana State Police Crime Scene Investigator Scott Gilbert said, “This was more of a one-sided thing. Kim took the brunt of this. You don’t see the trauma on Gary that you see on Kim.”