AP NEWS

Murder trial starts in slaying at hotel

April 23, 2019 GMT

The trial of a Fort Wayne man who police say killed a family member began Monday in Allen Superior Court.

Joshua Mackin, 34, is charged with murder in the Feb. 19, 2018, shooting death of Samuel Westlake outside a hotel on Coliseum Boulevard West.

Mackin believed Westlake had sex with Mackin’s girlfriend, according to court documents. The two men were sitting beside each other in different vehicles about 2 p.m. at Suburban Extended Stay Hotel : where Mackin’s girlfriend was staying : when Mackin shot Westlake, a probable cause affidavit alleges.

The 37-year-old died from “multiple gunshot wounds to his head and upper torso,” court documents said. A witness told investigators Westlake was Mackin’s half-brother, but a source told The Journal Gazette the two were stepbrothers.

Mackin faces the murder count, a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm and sentencing enhancements that could result in a sentence of more than 100 years behind bars if he is convicted. The trial is expected to last five days.

Fort Wayne police called to the hotel found Westlake dead inside his gray Jeep, and witnesses said they heard at least four gunshots and saw a white pickup speeding out of the parking lot.

One witness said Mackin and Westlake “had been arguing for quite some time” about Westlake’s relationship with Mackin’s girlfriend.

Another witness told police Mackin was going to kill or beat Westlake.

A man at the hotel told police Mackin was angry and said he was going to kill Westlake.

“Hey it’s your brother, don’t kill him,” the witness reportedly told Mackin.

“He shot and killed Sam,” the witness said later, according to the affidavit.

Mackin has maintained his innocence, holding a sign reading “Justice 4 Sam” at court hearings.

mleblanc@jg.net