A former Lake Station woman has been charged in connection with the illegal purchase of a gun that was part of the dispute that led to the killings of two Gary teens in 2015.
Stephanie Herald, who also uses the name Stephanie Evans, 26, was charged in Lake Superior Court with use of false information to obtain a handgun. The charge is punishable by one to six years.
In an interview with investigators that was outlined in court records, Herald admitted she purchased a .380-caliber handgun from Westforth Sports in Gary on May 15, 2015, using money she was given by Michelle Hughes and her boyfriend, Aarion Greenwood.
Hughes and Greenwood were charged with five others in the July killings of Aareon Lackey, 18, and Antonio Lackey, 16, of Gary.
The gun purchase was six weeks before the teens were abducted from a Merrillville motel and driven to Hobart, where they were shot in the head, execution-style. Their skeletal remains were discovered three weeks later by a family that had gone fishing on the property.
Herald told investigators that Hughes picked out the gun the day before she purchased it, and that she used none of her own money. Hughes and Greenwood waited in the car while she purchased the gun.
Before the double homicide, Greenwood’s father, David Johnson IV, 29, had given Aareon Lackey a .38-caliber revolver for protection. Greenwood had a 380-semi-automatic that Herald had purchased, Hughes told police in an interview related to the killings.
Hughes, 28, and Greenwood, 19, have pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder, two counts of murder in perpetration of kidnapping and two counts of kidnapping in the double homicide. Hughes rejected a plea agreement and her trial is scheduled to begin Oct. 23. Greenwood has pleaded not guilty. No trial date has been set.
Herald, who lists addresses in Indianapolis and Waldorf, Md., on the online docket, was extradited from Charles County, Md., after she was charged in May. Hughes is identified in court records as a close friend of Herald’s.
Johnson was convicted in August of all charges and the April 28, 2015, murder of Alfred Wiley, 46. His sentencing hearing is Sept. 19.
Johnson’s wife, Jeri Woods, 35, is serving a 120-year sentence for the Lackey homicides.
Two other co-defendants, Kiontay Cason, 23, and Johnson’s son, David Johnson V, 21, pleaded guilty to two counts of kidnapping and testified against Woods and David Johnson IV.
Also charged in the Lackey homicides is David Johnson III, 64, the father of David Johnson IV, who has pleaded not guilty.
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