Feds: Family members of man charged with murder threatened witness

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The sister of a northwest Indiana man charged with a gang-related killing in Hammond last year is his second family member indicted for intimidating a witness in the case.

Anton James, 19, faces murder charges for the Oct. 28, 2014 slaying of Martin Hurtado Sr., according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Northern District of Indiana.

About 9:20 a.m. on July 16—the day of James’ court appearance—his mother Dalia Guerrero told a witness she knew what the person looked like, where he or she lives and “to watch their back,” in order to influence the witness’ testimony, federal prosecutors said.

Guerrero, a 39-year-old Merrilllville resident, was arrested about noon, prosecutors said.

On Tuesday, prosecutors announced that James’ sister, 22-year-old Jasmine McMichael of East Chicago, Ind., was also charged for threatening the witness along with Guerrero.

James, a member of the Latin Kings street gang, mistook the 45-year-old Hurtado Sr. for his son Martin Hurtado Jr., a rival gang member, prosecutors allege.

That night, James shot the man once in the shoulder while he was in his backyard working on a car in the 800 block of South State Street, Hammond police said at the time. He died at a hospital that night.

Hammond police and the FBI continue to investigate.

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