Indiana councilman pleads not guilty to murder

(WLFI Photo)

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — An East Chicago councilman who faces murder and drug charges in two separate incidents has pleaded not guilty in a man’s shooting death.

Forty-two-year-old Robert “Coop” Battle was charged last week in the death of 31-year-old Reimundo “Rey” Camarillo Jr. of East Chicago. He pleaded not guilty to the murder charge Tuesday.

Battle’s attorney claims Battle shot Camarillo in self-dense Oct. 12 after Camarillo pulled a knife on Battle. Court records show police weren’t able to find a knife, shell casings or bullets at the scene.

Battle was indicted Thursday on one federal count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute stemming from his arrest Sept. 23 after police found more than 73 grams of the drug and $100,700 in cash during a traffic stop.

The (Munster) Times reports that it’s unclear whether the two cases are connected.

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