VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A northwest Indiana man has been convicted in killings of two teenagers who were shot to death last year during a drug-related armed robbery.
A Porter County jury found Connor Kerner, 19, guilty Thursday of two counts each of murder and murder in perpetration of a robbery, and other charges. A judge set Kerner's sentencing for Dec. 8.
The Valparaiso man had allegedly confessed to a then-girlfriend that he had killed 18-year-old Thomas Grill, of Cedar Lake and 19-year-old Molley Lanham, of St. John, in February 2019 in the attached garage of his maternal grandparents’ Hebron-area home.
Porter County Deputy Prosecutor Chris Hammer reminded jurors during closing arguments that Kerner reportedly told his then-girlfriend, “I did something bad. I killed someone and I killed an innocent girl.”
Hammer said the target in the armed robbery that led to the killings was $20,000 to $50,000 worth of THC cartridges, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.
Kerner's defense attorneys did not present any evidence on Hammer's behalf, but Indianapolis-based attorney James Voyles tried to shift the blame during closing arguments to Hammer's co-defendant, John Silva II, 20.
The Hamlet man is charged with two counts each of murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, according to court records.