Chesterton Tribune

Father pleads to reckless homicide in son's shooting death

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A Morgan Township man charged with the murder of his son, in a 2009 shooting in his pickup truck, has agreed to plead guilty to a reduced charge, the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said.

On Tuesday, Arthur James Blum, 69, of 152E 50S, pleaded guilty to reckless homicide, a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Cheryl Polarek told the Chesterton Tribune on Wednesday.

Polarek characterized the agreement as a “straight plea-and-argue” but she declined to say what sentence she will recommend at a sentencing hearing scheduled for July 14 before Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper.

Polarek did say that Blum has no prior criminal history at all, is in poor health, and has shown great remorse. Her office has also received numerous letters from the community providing “character references” for Blum, Polarek added.

At 10:22 a.m. Aug. 3, 2009, Blum and his son, Aaron, 32, were found in Blum’s pickup truck parked on C.R. 575E, north of U.S. Highway 30 in Washington Township. Aaron was deceased with a gunshot wound to his chest and Blum himself wounded, similarly shot in the chest, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police said at the time. A handgun—purchased on Aug. 1 at Blythe’s Sport Shop—was recovered inside the driver’s side door compartment.

In an interview in March 2010, Blum told investigators that Aaron had come to live with his parents after being released from jail on an OWI charge but that “things weren’t progressing very well,” so he took his son for a ride on Aug. 2 with the idea of talking to him. But things “started getting out of hand fast” and when Blum pulled to the side of the road “Aaron tossed his coffee on him” and “the next thing he knew, the gun was out, there was a struggle, and the gun misfired,” police said.

Blum stated that he was unsure who pulled the trigger, police said.

Blum told investigators that he drove straight to the emergency room but on his arrival there—around 2 p.m. Aug. 2—he realized that Aaron was “already gone,” couldn’t face going in, and instead drove around.

Blum continued to drive until stopping in Washington Township, where he shot himself, police said.






Posted 6/23/2011