Defendant tells his story in bar shooting death
April 17, 2010
BY RUTH ANN KRAUSE, POST-TRIBUNE CORRESPONDENT
Lake Superior Court jurors heard Daniel Robert Mola's statement to police in which he said he lost his temper, pulled out his gun, followed Christopher Elkins outside a Winfield bar and shot him twice.
Mola, 27, of Crown Point, who is on trial for murder in the shooting outside Buddy and Pal's, told Lake County police Detective Sgt. Dennis Matthew Eaton that around 1 a.m. July 19 Elkins started calling him a "pretender" and saying he'd be "easy to take."
Mola said he told Elkins they'd never met and asked whether Mola had disrespected him. Mola said he offered to buy Elkins a beer. Meanwhile, an off-duty bar employee with whom he'd been conversing told Mola to just let it go.
A short time later, Elkins returned to the bar where Mola was seated, slapped Mola's sunglasses off his head and stepped on them.
A bouncer stepped between the two men and told Mola to sit down and not speak to Elkins. Mola said he asked the bouncer to make Elkins leave.
As Elkins was walking to the front door, Mola said Elkins kicked his chair.
It was then Mola said he drew his .380-caliber pistol from his pocket. "I lost my temper and followed him outside," Mola told Eaton.
Elkins turned toward Mola, who said Elkins charged at him. Mola said he fired one shot and Elkins continued toward him, so he fired a second shot.
Mola, who was employed by the Merrillville Public Works Department at the time, did not have a valid handgun permit, Eaton testified. Mola said he was taking Zoloft and had consumed three or four shots and three or four beers during the four hours he was at the bar.
Elkins, 45, of Lakes of the Four Seasons, was shot twice in the abdomen and died at St. Mary Medical Center in Hobart. Elkins' blood alcohol level was above the .08 percent limit for driving.
Deputy prosecutors Angela Mattozzi and Aleksandra Dimitrijevic concluded their presentation of evidence Friday.
The trial before Lake Superior Court Judge pro tem Richard Maroc is scheduled to resume Monday morning.