Illinois man extradited in Gary girlfriend’s death

A Riverdale, Illinois man was extradited earlier this month for allegedly killing his Gary girlfriend near their five young kids.

Samuel Carlos Edwards, 37, was charged on Jan. 13, 2023, with murder in the Dec. 27, 2022 death of Ieisha Jefferson, 31, of Gary.

He made his first court appearance on Wednesday. His next date is scheduled for June 13.

Court records show he was arrested in Houston and jailed in Harris County, Texas as of April 3.

Detective William Poe of the former Lake County Metro Homicide Unit wrote that Gary Police responded early on Dec. 27, 2022, to the 3800 block of Adams Street where they found a woman fatally shot in the head lying against a sofa, an affidavit states.

A Gary Police officer found the door unlocked with five children aged 6 and under inside. Edwards handed the children Jefferson’s phone, herded them into a bedroom and closed the door, according to the affidavit. The child heard arguing before a gunshot.

Jefferson had her right arm over her face, as if trying to defend herself. Three live, .38-caliber bullets were found nearby. Lake County Forensic Pathologist Dr. Zhuo Wang concluded she died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

A man named “Carlos” — possibly Edwards — called 911 asking for paramedics. His voice was “emotional” or “upset.”

He “wasn’t even there” and didn’t “know what happened,” adding he heard “some shots.” The dispatch asked again what happened and if he needed paramedics. The call went silent for 8 seconds then the caller hung up.

Detectives subpoenaed the cellphone of the 911 caller, which pinged at the Adams Street address at the time of the shooting. A witness told investigators Edwards and Jefferson had dated on and off for six years with five children. They moved to Gary the year before. He was “very abusive.”

Before her death, Jefferson planned to leave Edwards and move to Mattoon, Illinois.

He had been on the run for over a year. The U.S. Marshals and FBI offered $15,000 for information leading to his arrest.

Deputy Prosecutor Jacob Brandewie is assigned and defense lawyer Michael Lambert is representing Edwards. The case is before Judge Natalie Bokota.