State Could Rest in Murder Trial Today

 The state could wrap up its case this afternoon against a Knox man charged with murder, kidnapping and carjacking. They’ve called 12 witnesses so far to testify against Gary Chavez. He’s accused of killing his estranged wife, Kimberly Chavez, at his rural Knox home last June 6th, driving his pickup truck to Mark Bailey’s Discount Center, kidnapping an employee at gunpoint, driving his car to English Lake and stealing a Jeep Grand Cherokee from a couple there.

Chavez was eventually apprehended in Lake County when police used stop sticks to disable a third stolen vehicle he was driving. Jurors saw the Hebron Police Department’s dash cam video of that high-speed pursuit yesterday. It ended with Chavez shooting himself off camera as officers approached.

The forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on Kimberly Chavez testified she died of multiple blunt force trauma, including multiple puncture wounds to both carotid arteries. He said she also sustained multiple skull fractures after the blood quit flowing to her head.

The Indiana State Police evidence technician who responded to the rural California Township home where Gary Chavez lived indicated her body was dragged across the lawn and placed next to the gas meter outside the house, where it was wrapped in a grill cover. Kimberly Chavez was face down and barefoot when she was found. Evidence photos indicate her shoes and socks were located inside the house, along with her car keys and a hair clip. Red stains found inside the house could be blood, and hair and blood were found on a boot Gary Chavez had been wearing.

The defense will cross-examine the evidence technician when the trial resumes this morning. Yesterday lead defense attorney David Welter indicated Chavez intends to testify. He has the right to change his mind. If he doesn’t, the jury will likely hear from him on Friday.