Hammond Man Sentenced In Gary Murder

On June 16, 2023, Kevin Scott Varner, 51, of Hammond was sentenced to seventy-nine years in prison for the murder of Danielle Brown, 23, of Gary. Varner was found guilty of the murder on May 5 by a jury. Supervising Attorney Bernie Johnson argued on behalf of the State of Indiana for the sentence. He was sentenced to sixty three years on the murder count (two years below the maximum) and an additional sixteen years on a habitual felon enhancement.

Brown’s murder occurred on February 12, 2023 in the 1100 block of Durbin in Gary. Varner was identified at trial by at least two eyewitnesses as shooting and killing Danielle Brown. He was apprehended in Fowler, Indiana on the same day after opening fire at a police officer during a traffic stop. He currently still faces charges in Benton County for Attempted Murder stemming from the traffic stop.

Varner represented himself without an attorney, and moved for a speedy trial. The jury deliberated for approximately one hour before its guilty findings.

The case was filed by Detective James Nielsen of the Lake County Prosecutor’s Homicide Task Force and Gary Police Department, and was tried by Supervising Attorney Bernie Johnsen and Deputy Prosecutor Taylor Poulos.

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