New sentence order for man in 1980 Hammond cop killing

November 22, 2019

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana Court of Appeals has ordered a resentencing for an alleged getaway driver convicted in the 1980 shooting death of an off-duty northwestern Indiana police officer.

A jury last year convicted 56-six-year-old James Hill of murder in perpetuation of robbery and attempted robbery for his role in the crime that left 33-year-old Hammond police officer Lawrence Pucalik dead. Hill was 17 at the time.

The Post-Tribune reports prosecutors argued two aggravating factors justified a 47-year sentence. The appeals court rule Tuesday those factors violated court precedent, and that Hill must be resentenced.

Prosecutors said Hill waited in a getaway car while his two alleged accomplices went inside a Holiday Inn in Hammond, demanded money from a clerk and shot 33-year-old Lawrence Pucalik while Pucalik worked as a security guard.


Information from: Post-Tribune, http://posttrib.chicagotribune.com/