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LaVetta Sparks-Wade and Jamal Washington

Jamal Washington to stay In Lake County Jail

Contributed By:The 411 News

Bail denied until mid-February in initial hearing on domestic battery

Former Lake County Councilman Jamal Washington appeared Monday before Lake County Superior Court Judge Magistrate Kathleen Sullivan on domestic battery charges, stemming from his arrest early in the morning of January 30 in Gary.

Washington was determined to be indigent by Judge Sullivan and will be assigned a public defender. He will remain in custody until February 15, the earliest date the judge set for his $50,000 bail.

Officers from the Gary Police Dept. and the Lake County Sheriff responded to requests from individuals for a welfare check on a woman in the 3900 block of Martin Luther King Drive in Gary who was being held against her will. Upon their arrival, the officers learned the address was the home of Gary City Councilwoman LaVetta Sparks-Wade.

Lake County Sheriff officers had detained Washington when Gary Police arrived. Councilwoman Sparks-Wade told police that Washington was her boyfriend and lived with her.

In the Probable Cause Affidavit, Sparks-Wade detailed how a discussion over campaign issues the day before had spiraled into beatings and abuse from Washington. Sparks-Wade is a candidate in the Gary mayoral race and Washington is running for an at-large seat on the Gary City Council.

Sparks-Wade stated that she and Washington both posted videos on social media on January 29 at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Both are active on Facebook, using the platform to replace the weekly radio program they once shared. Members of the Gary City Council and Lake County Council have had to become accustomed to having their meetings being posted live on Facebook.

Social media has become a major tool in each candidate’s political efforts and campaigns.

According to the affidavit, Washington became upset after reading the comments. She stated that Washington started calling several people regarding the comments.

In a phone conversation with her own campaign partner, Sparks-Wade said Washington took the phone and began arguing with her partner.

She stated that she attempted to take her phone back from Washington but he refused. He then began to strike her several times with both hands on her back and head. When she turned around and away, Washington threw the cell phone at her, striking her in the lip area causing swelling and bleeding.

Sparks-Wade said she attempted to leave but Jamal stood in front of the door.

During the night, Sparks-Wade said she was afraid to leave even while Washington slept.

She stated every attempt she made to exit the room, Jamal would wake up. She attempted to call and text several people to let them know, but she was in fear of being killed if she got caught.

Sparks-Wade stated that Jamal told her that she was not going to work during the incident and she contacted her employer, calling off work.

She eventually got the courage to exit the bedroom and sent text messages to several people. Police arrived a short time later.

The councilwoman spoke about an incident of physical abuse from Washington that occurred in December 2018 that she didn’t report.

Gary Police and Lake County Sheriff officers investigators found blood-like stains in the home’s bedroom and bathroom.

Washington didn’t seek re-election to the Lake County Council in 2018 after being censured by fellow members because of charges of domestic battery during his term on the council.

The Lake County Prosecutors Office has charged Washington with six misdemeanor and felony counts of confinement, domestic battery, and intimidation.

Story Posted:02/04/2019

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