3 teens, 1 adult charged with murder of MC businessman, theater leader Gerald Peters

Three teens and one 20-year-old were charged in court today, Friday, Nov. 9, 2012, with the murder of Gerald Peters, 69, of Michigan City.

Gerald Peters

Gerald Peters

Phelps

Phelps

Ryan A. Phelps, 20, Melvin J. Basford, 18, Martell J. Anderson, 16, and Trevon D. Walker, 17, are each charged with murder, felony murder and robbery, all Class A felonies. Felony murder charges are filed when a person is killed during the commission of a felony, such as burglary or kidnapping.

Peters, a retired Michigan City Rogers High School English teacher who was very active in Mainstreet Theatre and various community endeavors, was found dead in the basement of his home in the 300 block of Walker Street on Nov. 9 after Michigan City Police were asked to check on his welfare.

“Upon arrival officers from the Patrol Division discovered Gerald Peters deceased in the home and there were obvious signs that a crime had been committed,” a police press release stated. Peters’ gray Pontiac Grand Prix was missing.

Anderson

Anderson

“At approximately 2:25 p.m. (Nov. 8), Assistant Chief Tim Richardson got into a pursuit with the victim’s vehicle that was being driven by a black male. After a short time, the driver, later identified as Trevon Drakkar Walker, lost control of the victim’s vehicle and crashed in the area of Porter and Holiday streets, where Walker fled on foot. Walker was taken into custody by Richardson, Detective Ron Skibins and Detective Al Schutz a very short time later.

“During the investigation several leads were followed that led to the identification of Ryan Phelps. An attempt to locate was put

Basford

Basford

out via radio and electronic means; Phelps was located in the area of Vail Street and Michigan Boulevard in an alley by Officer Mike Elkins.

“Throughout the late afternoon and evening hours, investigators continued to question several people for information, which led to other suspects, Melvin Joseph Basford and Martell Joseph Anderson, who were located late in the evening.”

Walker

Walker

The four were charged in LaPorte County Superior Court 1 on Friday, Nov. 9.

An autopsy on Gerald Peters is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 12, in Mishawaka with Dr. Joseph Prahlow and Detective Cpl. Tony McClintock.

“The Michigan City Police Department’s Administration and Mayor Ron Meer’s Office are extremely impressed with the professional teamwork and commitment that the Uniform Patrol Division, Detective Division, Street Crimes Unit, LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, LaPorte County Coroner’s Office and the LaPorte County Prosecutor’s Office brought forward regarding this investigation,” the press release stated. “Several personnel were called in from home on overtime to assist and multiple facets of this investigation that took place in different locations of our city moved full speed ahead in order to apprehend the suspects responsible for this heinous act. With the continued help and support of the members of the community we can continue to have quality investigations that lead to the arrest of criminals in our community.”

7 Responses to “3 teens, 1 adult charged with murder of MC businessman, theater leader Gerald Peters”

  1. Delmar Chupp

    Nov 10. 2012

    As a law enforcement officer and family member of Gearld “Jerry” Peters I am greatful for the rapid response of all law enforcement agencys involved in apprehending these four so quickly. Jerry was a cousin of my wife, he would do anything he could to help out someone in need.
    I have no words suitable that can explain the disgust and pure contempt I have for these four for what they have taken away from my family and the community.
    May they never see the outside of a prison and may they pay the ultimate price for what they have done.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Sharon Goodman

    Nov 10. 2012

    This is SO sad. A vibrant person’s life taken by kids who apparently just had nothing else to do that day. I hope these criminals–and they ARE criminals, regardless of their age–are prosecuted to the fullest extent.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Phil Applegate

    Nov 17. 2012

    This is so sad. He always smiled and talked with me and my mom who worked at the school. He was a good teacher, he loved theater, we’ll miss you Mr. Peters. (Wow I’m just stunned.) He was a gentleman among gentlemen.

    Reply to this comment
  4. jawn

    Nov 17. 2012

    Look at their eyes….they have the typical dead zombie eye look….no one is home!!

    Reply to this comment
  5. with sympathy

    Nov 18. 2012

    It’s way past time juvenile laws were changed in order to address the under 18 thugs that are committing such heinous crimes. We aren’t in the “good old days” any longer. Condolences to the family.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Bill Okama

    Nov 18. 2012

    Just look at the soulless eyes of those sub-human animals. As feral animals do, they were traveling in a pack, looking for an innocent victim.

    May Gerald Peters rest in peace, and my sincerest condolences to his family and friends.

    Reply to this comment
  7. James wolf

    Nov 27. 2012

    What gets me they are kids there not kids there no good punks .I would not be surprise if the courts goes easy on them thats the scum thats on our streets our Judges dont live with this monsters of the streets like them a harsh sentence would be good that will take the smirk off there face.

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