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Indiana man found guilty of 1980 slaying of off-duty officer

Courtesy NWI Times

CROWN POINT, Ind. — A Gary man has been convicted in the 1980 shooting death of an off-duty Hammond police officer.

The Post Tribune reports that on Friday night, jurors in Lake County found 55-year-old James Hill guilty of murder while committing a robbery.

During the trial, prosecutors contended that Hill was waiting outside 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.

One of the alleged accomplices was charged with murder but the case was dismissed after he was declared medically incompetent. Authorities are seeking to have the other man extradited from Illinois to face murder charges.

Hill is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

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