Accomplice in Lake Station drug robbery setup asks for a bail cut

A judge declined to rule Wednesday after a man charged as an accomplice in a recent Lake Station drug robbery setup asked for a bail cut.

Jehad Colvin, 22, of Gary, appeared in court where a judge entered a not guilty plea.

His defense lawyer Robert Varga told Judge Samuel Cappas he couldn’t afford the $15,000 cash surety bond. He asked to lower it to $3,000 or $5,000.

Varga argued the evidence was “very scant,” “thin” and would be “deeply contested” that Colvin was involved with what happened. Just being there, or not actively objecting to a crime was not enough under the law, he later argued.

Deputy Prosecutor Kasey Dafoe said she believed the bond was “appropriately set.” She told Cappas that it may be “highly likely” the entire case would get upgraded to murder if one victim dies.

The alleged shooter was recently extradited from Kentucky, she said. His case appears to still be under seal.

Cappas briefly called lawyers to his bench, before saying he wouldn’t make an immediate decision. The case was reset for May 22.

Three accomplices, Jeremiah Rogers, 22, of Lake Station, his friend Colvin, and the driver Makhia Fraley, 19, of Rensselaer, were arrested earlier this month after a marijuana dealer and his relative were found shot in Lake Station inside an SUV in a robbery setup, documents state.

They are each charged with two counts of attempted murder, both Level 1 felonies; two counts of attempted robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, both Level 2 felonies; two counts of attempted armed robbery, both Level 3 felonies; and two counts of aggravated battery, both Level 3 felonies.

The Post-Tribune is not naming the alleged shooter, who also pitched the idea to rob a marijuana dealer, until he is charged in public court filings.

Rogers is being held without bond, while Fraley is also being held on a $150,000, or $15,000 cash surety bond.

Lake Station Police responded at 9:16 p.m. April 3 after the victim called 911, saying he and the relative were shot. He couldn’t see, he told dispatchers.

A witness later reported a black Dodge Journey hitting a fence on the 3200 block of Minnesota Street. A man yelled for help.

The male victim was found shot in the head, while the passenger, his relative, was shot in the throat and chest, charges state. They were taken to a hospital. Investigators couldn’t talk to either victim at the hospital because they were so badly wounded.

Court records show Rogers’ phone texted the victim on April 3 between 4:40 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Rogers told the man to meet him at his aunt’s house on the 3200 block of Minnesota Street. It was a vacant house.

Police learned that the alleged shooter wanted to rob a marijuana dealer to make “fast money.” The shooter was messaging the victim on Rogers’ phone. Rogers called Fraley, his child’s mother, to pick him up and the alleged shooter up, saying they were going to buy marijuana, then headed to Gary to pick up Colvin.

Surveillance videos show Fraley’s car parked a block away near Rosser Park on the 3300 block of Oregon Street at 9:05 p.m. The car appeared to speed off at 9:13 p.m.

The shooter, Rogers, and Colvin walked a block over to the victim’s SUV.

The shooter asked to see the marijuana, appeared to grab or lose his grip on the bag, then shot three times into the SUV, court records state.

Rogers ran as the first shot was fired; Colvin and the shooter, who slipped in the mud, followed. Afterwards, they were “shocked” the shooting happened.

“I don’t know. I don’t know,” the shooter claimed when asked why he did it, court records state.

Fraley drove to get gas and dropped them back off in Burns Harbor. The shooter appeared to be “making jokes” and “laughing” afterward, court records state.