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Saturday October 20, 2018

LP killer loses appeal

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 16:57 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

- A LaPorte man convicted of fatally stabbing a former high school football player has lost the appeal of his conviction and 72-year prison sentence.

Justin Lower, 29, argued the jury convicting him of murder was prejudiced when shown a mugshot of him in a jail uniform and surveillance camera footage of the stabbing could have verified his claims of self-defense had the images been enhanced.

He also alleged misconduct by prosecutors in their closing statements at trial.

The Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday unanimously ruled against his appeal.

Anthony Phelps, 25, was stabbed nine times in August of 2014 outside Lucky Bar.

Lower claimed he began stabbing after Phelps knocked him to the ground and struck him several times.

Phelps was a star wide receiver at LaPorte High School who volunteered during football practice after graduating.

Evidence in the case indicated Lower twisted the knife in the victim's body a few times and carried out the stabbing possibly to gain membership into a white supremacist group, police said.
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