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PostSubject: Indiana Murder Suspect Uncooperative in Court   Indiana Murder Suspect Uncooperative in Court EmptyWed Oct 22, 2014 11:09 am

Man Police Say Led Them to Six Bodies Is Held in Contempt at Initial Hearing
Updated Oct. 22, 2014 1:50 p.m. ET
CROWN POINT, Ind.—An Indiana man who police said led them to six bodies in recent days became uncooperative Wednesday, refusing to participate in his initial court hearing in a separate murder case.

Meanwhile, his lawyer said investigators can no longer initiate interviews with him.

Darren Vann, 43 years old, first refused to come into the courtroom here and then once he did, wouldn’t respond to a basic question from the court. Mr. Vann has been charged in the killing of 19-year-old Afrika Hardy, who police described as an escort whose body was found last week at a motel in Hammond, Ind.

Darren Vann has been charged in one death, and he allegedly led authorities to six other bodies.
Darren Vann has been charged in one death, and he allegedly led authorities to six other bodies. LAKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE/REUTERS

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Mr. Vann, dressed in a striped prison uniform, looked straight ahead as guards stood on either side of him and did not answer when Magistrate Kathleen Ann Sullivan asked him to identify himself.

The magistrate found Mr. Vann in contempt of court and set a new court date for Oct. 29. She warned him he would remain in jail indefinitely if he didn’t begin cooperating in court.

Mr. Vann was arrested over the weekend as police investigated Ms. Hardy’s death and charged on Monday with murder. Police say he admitted to the killing and detailed other crimes, leading them to the bodies of six women in the neighboring city of Gary. Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott earlier this week labeled Mr. Vann a serial killer.

Police officials have said further charges will be filed in the coming days in connection to the women found in Gary, and the number of bodies could rise as their investigation, which now stretches beyond Indiana, continues.

Mr. Vann is being held by Lake County Sheriff’s Department, segregated from the general population of the jail.

“His demeanor while he has been incarcerated here has been calm and quiet and collected,” Lake County Sheriff John Buncich said at a news conference. “This morning was the first of any indication where he tried to be disruptive or uncooperative.”

Before entering the courtroom, Mr. Vann questioned why several reporters were there to observe, Mr. Buncich said. The sheriff also said Mr. Vann wanted to know why the hearing was being held in a high-security courtroom in the jail rather than a traditional court room.

The court put a gag order on those involved in the case. But during the short hearing, Mr. Vann’s court-appointed lawyer Matthew Fech said investigators should no longer seek interviews with Mr. Vann and shouldn’t speak to him without a lawyer present.

Mr. Buncich declined to discuss how the developments Wednesday may affect the ongoing investigation, citing the gag order.

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