NW Indiana man pleads guilty to role in 2019 double murder

Bestinau got that-

VALPARAISO, Ind. — A northwestern Indiana man has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and other charges for his role in the murder of two teens fatally shot during a drug-related robbery.

John Silva II, 21, pleaded guilty Thursday to voluntary manslaughter, attempted theft and benefit fraud, days before he was due to face a second trial in the February 2019 massacres.

Silva’s first trial ended with a mistrial last June because jurors were unable to reach a unanimous verdict, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

The Hamlet man was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted robbery in connection with the murders of 18-year-old Thomas Grill, of Cedar Lake and 19-year-old Molley Lanham, of St. John.

A judge in Porter County has scheduled a hearing on May 20, where he will decide whether to accept Silva’s plea deal, which seeks a 31-year prison term, with 11 years’ probation.

Prosecutors allege Silva was armed in the basement of a house as backup for Connor Kerner, who was trying to rob Grill and Lanham when they were murdered.

Kerner was convicted in October 2020 of two charges, each of murder and robbery-related murder, and other charges in the murders.

The Indiana Court of Appeals overturned one of Kerner’s murder convictions in October 2021 and shaved 25 years off his sentence, though Kerner still faces 154 years in prison.

Leave a Comment