A Gary teenager was sentenced Friday to 12 years in prison as part of a plea deal for a deadly drug robbery.
Izaiah Horde, now 18, pleaded guilty on Jan. 11 to armed robbery, a Level 3 felony, and reckless homicide, a Level 5 felony, in the Sept. 10, 2021, shooting death of 18-year-old Emmanuel Hall.
Judge Salvador Vasquez said it was “very unusual” for a murder case to be reduced to the lesser charge of manslaughter. He asked defense attorney James Thiros why he should accept the plea deal.
Thiros said the attack was not “intentional”. Negotiations were “extensive” and there were evidentiary problems on both sides.
He said the main witness was uncooperative.
He asked the judge to accept the plea.
Deputy Prosecutor Jovanni Miramontes echoed Thiros, saying they were “not comfortable” going to trial with an uncooperative witness.
Without it, “they didn’t really know what it was,” he said.
Horde refused to speak in court.
Vasquez accepted the plea and said, “I won’t put up with this anymore.”
According to court documents, Hall and another man who was a relative would purchase marijuana from Horde.
They caught him in the 1100 block of Burr Street in Gary. Horde jumped in the back while Hall sat in the front seat.
The man was driving near the 4900 block of Olcott Avenue in East Chicago when he heard a gunshot, then felt a gun pressed to the back of his head, according to the charges.
Horde began asking where the marijuana and money were and took the backpack, which contained $460 and 3.5 grams of marijuana, according to the charges.
“Hell, I didn’t even want to kill people,” Horde said, according to testimony.
The man saw Hall get shot and asked Horde what he was doing.
“Don’t panic, keep driving,” Horde replied.
He dropped Horde off with his backpack in an alley near the 4200 block of Indianapolis Boulevard and Magoun Avenue, then followed Hall to St. Louis in East Chicago. He took me to Catherine Hospital.
The man ran to the emergency room and told staff that someone had been shot in his car.
He also “panicked” and fled because he too had outstanding warrants, he later told police. He hid in the bushes, threw on a bloody sweatshirt, and then called an Uber.
Horde was initially charged with murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, and armed robbery.