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Gary man on trial again for shooting woman, killing new boyfriend

Deputy Prosecutor Judith Massa told jurors in opening arguments Tuesday that Anthony Day showed up uninvited and unwanted to his ex-girlfriend’s Gary home, before shooting her, then killing Ajohnte Griffin, her new boyfriend, after she ran out the door in a bloody bathrobe.

“This is a case we see all too often in society,” Massa said.

This is the second time Day has been on trial for the 2017 shooting. He is charged with murder, attempted murder and battery committed with a deadly weapon. He has pleaded not guilty.

His lawyer Scott King did not give an opening statement. He said Friday the evidence wasn’t sufficient.

Day’s first trial ended in mistrial in June 2019, court records show. Griffin, 36, of East Chicago, died of a gunshot wound to the head.

Massa told jurors the woman and Day dated for about 1.5 years, as their relationship deteriorated. Day “stalked” the woman in the weeks before the shooting. He crashed a birthday party she attended. In a second incident, a police officer intervened when Day wanted his stuff back at her home and she wanted him to return his key. In a third, he went to her work asking her to give a cell phone he bought for her back. She later put it in his mailbox.

The woman told police she had ended her relationship with Day about two weeks before the shooting, which occurred early Feb. 10, 2017 at a residence at the 300 block of McKinley St., in Gary. She and her friend, Griffin, had just arrived home after being out all day.

The woman had checked her windows and doors to make sure they were locked, then started taking a bath, court records state. While in the bathroom, the woman said she heard a commotion from a west bedroom of her home and discovered Griffin struggling with Day, records state.

After speaking with the men, they both lowered their weapons, court records said. Day kept saying he just wanted to talk to the woman, and Griffin said he wanted to get the clip to his weapon and leave, documents said.

The woman said she got dressed, and Day continued to ask if he could talk to her, but the woman said she didn’t trust him with a gun in his hands and didn’t want to talk, records state.

“You played me,” Day told the woman, according to court records. “I’ve been wanting to do this for the longest,” Day repeated twice, then opened fire at the woman, who turned and ran, according to the probable cause affidavit.

After she ran outside, the woman said she heard two gunshots. The woman said she hid until she saw that police had made it to her home, documents said. She was shot in the collarbone.

The trial is before Judge Gina Jones. Deputy Prosecutor Maureen Koonce is co-counsel with Massa.

Court records indicate Day was arrested in October 2019 in federal court for a trio of unrelated Gary bank robberies where he and two others wore “elaborate” disguises.

Day was convicted in January 2023 in the U.S. District Courthouse in Hammond in connection with one — an Oct. 8, 2019 Gary bank robbery.

Day was sentenced to 24 years. Williams pleaded guilty in November 2021 and was sentenced to just under 20 years, according to court documents.

Post-Tribune archives contributed.

mcolias@post-trib.com