By SCOTT WEISSER
---- — GOSHEN — A man accused of a fatal shooting in Dunlap had his initial hearing in Elkhart Circuit Court Thursday morning.
Prosecutors allege that Cortez L. Wheeler, 24, shot Cordera Williams Nov. 23, 2012, outside Gemini Bar and Grill, 23845 U.S. 33. Williams died of a gunshot wound to the chest.
Circuit Court Judge Terry Shewmaker appointed a public defender to represent Wheeler, who is serving a sentence in the state Department of Correction on a burglary conviction. The judge also set a July 7 trial date in the murder case.
According to a probable cause affidavit, police officers summoned to the shooting scene found Williams in the bar’s entryway. According to court documents, a crime scene specialist with the Elkhart County sheriff’s department found nine spent handgun bullet casings in the parking lot.
Police reported that two women at the Gemini premises suffered hand wounds as a result of the shooting.
During the investigation, police investigators watched a video surveillance recording from Gemini. According to the affidavit, at one point in the recording, “The video shows (Wheeler) raise a gun in the direction of Mr. Williams and fire the gun just as Mr. Williams raises a gun in the direction of (Wheeler) and runs in the direction of the Gemini entrance.”
In addition to murder, Wheeler also faces a charge of being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm.