Shadonna D. Cheatham

Boyfriend Charged in Woman's Slaying

Police: Man shot her, held gun to his mouth

July 26, 2007

CROWN POINT | Prosecutors on Thursday charged Shadonna Cheatham's boyfriend with fatally shooting her.  Dia Nelson, 33, of Gary, faces 65 years in prison if convicted of murder.

Court records show Cheatham's mother was visiting her Thursday evening at the apartment Cheatham, 22, and Nelson shared.

The mother and daughter were outside talking when Cheatham went back inside, reports state. A short time later, the woman heard a gunshot from inside the apartment.

When she went inside, she saw Nelson's two children at the bottom of the steps calling up to their father. Cheatham's mother went upstairs and found Nelson standing in the bathroom with a handgun to his mouth threatening to kill himself, reports state.  Then she saw her daughter on the floor with a bullet wound to her head.

Nelson's children were coming up the stairs so she grabbed them and took them to a neighbor's house, where she called police, reports state.  She went back to her daughter's apartment and saw Nelson coming downstairs with the gun still in his mouth.

Another witness told police he saw Nelson go back into the apartment. When he came back out, Nelson said: "It was an accident. I didn't mean to do it," the probable cause affidavit states.


GARY | In what has been a busy week for Gary homicide detectives, police are looking for a suspect in the Friday morning shooting death of a 22-year-old woman.

Shadonna Cheatham was found at 4456 W. 24th Ave. with a gunshot wound to the head. Cheatham's mother told police she was outside the apartment when she heard a gunshot, went back inside and found her daughter shot in a bedroom, Cmdr. Samuel Roberts said.

The mother told police she saw the suspect holding a gun and saying he was going to kill himself, Roberts said. The man then left the apartment.

Cheatham was pronounced dead at 9:56 a.m. at the Methodist Hospitals Southlake Campus.

She is the fourth person killed in Gary this week. About 10 hours earlier, 27-year-old Kenyon Tarver was shot to death about three miles away.

Elijah Harris

Hammond couple charged in toddler's beating death

July 31, 2007 (WLS) -- A Northwest Indiana couple is charged in connection with the beating death of a toddler.

Twenty-three-month-old Elijah Harris died last Thursday after suffering traumatic brain injuries at a home in Hammond.  The child's mother, 29-year-old Angela Burgher , and the boy's stepfather, Dennis Burgher, each face four counts of child neglect.  Investigators say the toddler also had scalding burns on his body.

The mother and stepfather remained in custody Tuesday night.


CROWN POINT | Angela Burgher unfolded a crinkled piece of yellow paper Wednesday and read her apology for the circumstances leading up to her son's death.

The East Chicago woman's son, Elijah Harris, died in July 2007 of severe trauma to the head. He would have celebrated his second birthday a month later.

"I'm sorry to my children for not making better choices and decisions for them," Burgher said Wednesday in a shaky voice.

Burgher was sentenced Wednesday to an agreed term of 10 years in prison for felony child neglect that led to Elijah's death.

The 21-year-old woman, who also has another child, pleaded guilty in April in return for Lake County prosecutors dropping five other felony charges that included battery and neglect of a dependent.

Burgher admitted to watching her husband, Dennis Burgher, strike her son, Lake Criminal Court records show. She said she also noticed blisters and burns on Elijah's body but didn't do anything to get him help.

Angela Burgher also admitted she heard a "thump" while getting ready for work and found Elijah's body crumpled on the basement floor with Dennis Burgher standing nearby.

Dennis Burgher told her Elijah fell down the stairs, court records state. Angela Burgher left for work as usual.

Emergency responders to the Burghers' home said they found bruises to Elijah's forehead, lesions on both sides of his neck and untreated second-degree burns to his buttocks and groin. He wasn't breathing at the time, police said.

Both Burgher and her now estranged husband, Dennis, were charged with multiple felonies relating to Elijah's death.

Dennis Burgher, who was Elijah's stepfather, was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to felony neglect of a dependent.

He admitted to failing to seek medical attention for Elijah after he saw the little boy's injuries. Dennis Burgher did not admit to any abuse or violence.

Luiz A. Gonzalez

Hammond Man Killed in Domestic Violence Incident

LUIS A. GONZALEZ, age 36, of Hammond, Indiana passed away Saturday, July 21, 2007. (Ridgelawn Funeral Home).  He was shot and killed by 13 yr old male in domestic issue.

(No other information could be found.  Please comment if you'd like to add information for dear Luiz).

Mia K. Jones

Husband held in shooting

July 18, 2007

A Hobart man fatally shot his wife in the head Monday night while their two children -- including a 10-month-old baby -- were in the same apartment, police said Tuesday. Police say Tyrone Jones shot Mia K. Jones at the Lake in the Woods Apartment Complex. They lived at Apartment 735, 77 Neringa Lane.

At 11:36 p.m., a man suspected to be Jones called 911 saying he needed an ambulance for his wife, who had been shot.

Mia Jones was found inside her bedroom. Lake County Coroner's office pronounced her dead at the scene at 12:35 a.m.


A Hobart woman police said was shot and killed by her husband last week is being laid to rest today. Mia K. Jones' funeral is set for 11 a.m. Tuesday at Mount Moriah Baptist Church, 735 E. 20th Ave., in Gary, with burial to follow at Evergreen Memorial Park in Hobart.

Jones was 25. She had two sons with her husband, Tyrone Jones. The boys, ages 3 and 10 months, were inside the family's third-story apartment July 17, at the Lake in the Woods complex, when Tyrone Jones shot and killed his wife, police said.

Beverly A. Seavers

Mitchell Man Charged With Death Of His Wife

Last updated on Monday, July 09, 2007

(MITCHELL) - Indiana State Police and the Mitchell Police Department are investigating the death of a Mitchell woman.

30-year-old Marty Seavers was arrested Saturday and faces preliminary charges of reckless homicide in the death of his wife, Beverly Seavers. An early morning 911 call alerted police on the incident.

Seavers has been taken to the Lawrence County Security Center on the Class C felony.  The case has been referred to the Lawrence County Prosecutors office.


(BEDFORD) - 30-year-old Marty Seavers, of Mitchell, has been charged with murder in the death of his wife, 48-year-old Beverly A. Moffatt Seavers.

A probable cause affidavit states that Seavers admitted that he and his wife had been fighting and she would not stop yelling at him.

Police say Seavers put his hands around his wife's neck during the incident. An initial autopsy was performed and Beverly was found to have died from suffocation due to smothering.

Lawrence County Coroner John Sherrill will give a final cause of death once all testing from the autopsy is completed.  Marty Seavers remains in the Lawrence County jail on a $50,000 cash bond.

Archie Strickland Jr.

Dispute Ends in Fatal Shooting

July 18, 2007

While calling police for help quelling a nasty fight between her two grown sons Monday evening, Kathleen Strickland heard a gunshot.

Her older son, Archie Strickland Jr., 30, was shot. Her younger son, Andre Strickland, 22, was gone.

Archie died a short time later at Methodist Hospitals Northlake emergency room with a gunshot wound to his thigh. He was pronounced dead at 8:14 p.m., Lake County Coroner’s Chief Investigator Paul Castro said.

Andre was arrested at his girlfriend’s house in Brunswick on Monday night, but was released Tuesday by police after he was questioned.

Cmdr. Samuel Roberts said investigators believe Andre fired after his older brother, who suffered from bipolar personality and was recently released from a rehabilitation program, wouldn’t stop his attack.

“There’s an element of self-defense,” Roberts said.

Lake County prosecutors are reviewing the evidence, but no charges are expected to be filed against the younger Strickland brother.

Their mother, a radio dispatcher for the Gary Police Department, told investigators her sons were arguing downstairs in their Tolleston home when Archie began hitting Andre with his fists.

Despite her efforts to intervene, the battle continued. She went upstairs to call police when she heard the single gunshot, police said. Detective Lorenzo Davis presented the case to prosecutors Tuesday.