Hammond Teen Charged in 2017 Murder and Rape Committed Days Before

Omarion Wilbourn, who was 15 at the time of the August 22, 2017 murder, was charged with murder, robbery and theft one year after the death of Lucia Gonzales of Hessville.  Wilbourn is also charged in two unrelated rapes.

 

September 5, 2018-Over a year after the crimes, 16 year old Omarion Wilbourn has been charged with murder, armed robbery and theft in the brutal killing of Lucia Gonzales of Hessville.  Wilbourn is also charged with raping a minor on July 26, 2017 and another woman on August 8, 2017.  Details regarding the two rapes were not provided, but the charging information indicates that in each case Wilbourn was armed with a hammer and also stole items including a cell phone from the victims.

Wilbourn was the subject of a juvenile court probable cause hearing due to his age.  That case was handled by a magistrate and findings of fact were issued establishing allowing the matter to proceed in adult court.  According to the findings by Magistrate Matthew B. Gruett, police responded to the 7500 block of Alexander Avenue in Hammond on August 22, 2017 where they found a female, later identified as Lucia Gonzales, lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor.  “Officer Cook also described the scene as “blood was everywhere.  The victims shirt had been removed and her pants were pulled down.”  Police quickly determined that the victim’s cell phone was missing through interviews with family members.

Also on August 22, 2017, Omarion Wilbourn reported to the Hammond Police Department to state that he was stabbed in an incident that happened at nearby Hessville Park.  The victim’s residence is approximately five blocks from Hessville Park.  While interviewing Wilbourn, police noted that he had cuts to his left upper arm, right knee, left side, left upper/back shoulder area, and his right pinky finger.  Police interviewed individuals that Wilbourn stated were involved in this incident and all denied that it happened.  One individual provided time sheets showing he was at work during the time of the alleged incident.

Police spoke with Andrew Ruiz who lives one block from the crime scene and “has been involved with raising [Wilbourn] for the past 11 years.”  According to Ruiz, Wilbourn left the house be8:30 and tween 9:00 p.m. on August 21, 2017 and returned “a short time later and immediately went into the bathroom to shower.”  Mr. Ruiz quizzed Wilbourn regarding the injuries he sustained and Wilbourn first stated that he was injured when his bike chain broke.  “Upon further investigation of the injuries, Mr. Ruiz found them to be inconsistent with the explanation” according to the Magistrate’s findings.  Wilbourn then stated he had been in a fight at Hessville Park and was stabbled.  Ruiz then took Wilbourn to Community Hospital in Munster where he received stitches for his injuries.

Police also spoke with Wilbourn’s girlfriend who reported that she saw Wilbourn leave the residence of Lucia Gonzales on his bicycle at approximately 9:00 p.m. on August 21.  The girlfriend stated she had received a telephone call from Ruiz asking where Wilbourn was and was on the phone with Ruiz when she went outside and saw Wilbourn leaving the Gonzales residence.  She then saw ride his bicycle south on Alexander Place toward the expressway and then back up the alleyway toward the Ruiz residents in the 7400 block of Alexander.  Based on this information, police searched the area near Alexander Avenue and the expressway and “recvoerd a large butcher knife with a brown handle as well as a long, thin metal crowbar, within a few feet of each other” according to the Magistrate’s findings.

Police then obtained information regarding  the cell phone taken from Lucia Gonzales on August 23- two days after the incident.  Police determined that the phone was both “powered on and located at 1715 171st Street, Hammond, Indiana.”  Police then obtained a search warrant for 1715 171st Street and located Wilbourn in the basement sleeping “and under his pillow was located the black Samsung cell phone and an iPhone.  The black Samsung cell phone was found to belong to the victim” according to the findings.

Wilbourn told police he had obtained the Samsung cell phone from a friend weeks prior. According to the findings, however, the cell phone had been logged into the wifi network at the home of Lucia Gonzalez until August 21, 2017 at 9:02 p.m.  The phone next connected to an AT&T network at 7:21 a.m. on August 22.   “The next entry on said cell phone revealed said cell phone connected to the wireless network with the SSID “Omarion’s iPhone” on August 22, 2017 at 4:50 p.m.” according to the findings of the Magistrate.

Police sent numerous items for DNA testing and did not find DNA or blood associated with Wilbourn on the knife, crowbar or at the crime scene.  The victim’s shirt and Wilbourn’s underwear were both found to have traces of DNA consistent with both the victim and Wilbourn according to the findings.

Based on all of the above, the Court found probable cause that Omarion Wilbourn committed murder, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury and theft.

We will provide additional details regarding the unrelated rape charges as soon as that information is received.

All criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law. A criminal charge is not evidence of guilt.

 

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