A Hammond man has been formally charged with the shooting deaths on Saturday
of a man and a woman at a Center Township home.
On Monday after deadline, Julius Jovan Garza, 19, was charged with the
murder of Jeffery Trinka, 40, of 1558 W. Lincolnway, and Jennifer Guinn, 31,
According to the probable cause affidavit filed by Det. Manteuffel of the
Porter County Sheriff’s Police, Garza was taken into custody at the murder
scene—Trinka’s home—by officers responding to a 911 call made by Guinn at
2:11 a.m. reporting a shooting in progress.
“Garza exited his vehicle as the officers arrived,” Manteuffel said.
“Garza’s vehicle, a green Lincoln Navigator, was stopped at the roadway.
Garza advised officers that two people inside the house had been shot.”
Officers subsequently found Trinka, dead at the scene, at the base of a
stairway in the home, and Guinn mortally wounded in the living room. Guinn
was transported to Porter Valparaiso Hospital Campus, where she was
Coroner Chuck Harris told the Chesterton Tribune today that Trinka
sustained two gunshot wounds, one to the leg and a fatal one to the heart.
Recovered from his body were rounds consistent with the 7.62 caliber shell
casings and a Legion USA Saiga AK-47 found at the scene about 93 feet west
of the house.
Guinn sustained three gunshot wounds, two to the hip and a fatal one to the
abdomen. A fourth bullet grazed her, Harris said. Recovered from her body
were rounds consistent with those used by a Raven Arms .25 caliber pistol
found at the scene in a grassy area on the east side of the house.
Manteuffel noted in his affidavit that, in her 911 call, Guinn said that
“her friend had just been shot,” and in a recording of the call he “can hear
gunshots” but after “the gunshots are heard, the female caller is silent and
no longer providing information to the dispatcher.”
Garza gave Manteuffel this account of the events. “Garza advised that he was
at the home of Jeffery Trinka,” Manteuffel stated. “He advised that during
the night, there was a knock on the door. At the time of the knock, Julius
Garza advised he went into Trinka’s bedroom and hid. He then heard a
struggle at the door and then a gun shot. Garza advised that he heard Jeff (Trinka)
say ‘Call the cops.’ Garza said then he heard two to three more shots. Garza
then claimed he heard a male white say ‘You better not be calling the cops.’
Garza then heard the female voice say she wasn’t and then he heard a few
more shots. Garza said he waited for a few minutes before exiting the
bedroom. Garza claimed that he then witnessed a purple SUV leaving the
driveway at 1558 Lincolnway and headed eastbound.”
In his affidavit Manteuffel has this to say about Garza’s statement: “It
should be noted that I have listened to the 911 recording of the incident.
At no time is there a male voice in the background. Further, the female
victim, identified as Jennifer Guinn, did not speak to anyone other than the
During a search of the home, conducted after a warrant was obtained,
investigators recovered a live 7.62 round on the sidewalk near the west
door, three bullet holes in the door, and three 7.62 shell casings inside
the entryway, in the area of where Trinka died, Manteuffel stated.
Four spent .25 caliber shells were found in the living room, where Guinn was
found, Manteuffel added.
The AK-47 found 93 feet from the house has the same serial number as the one
purchased by Garza on Nov. 9, 2011, Manteuffel stated.
Guinn’s cell phone, from which the 911 call was made, was found 89 feet from
Garza is being held without bond. An initial hearing is expected to be held
within the next few days before Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper,
Prosecuting Attorney Brian Gensel said.