(Photo Courtesy of the Porter County Sheriff's Office)
A Valparaiso man charged with murder pleaded not guilty today. Abraham Bratcher is accused of fatally shooting his friend, 31 year old Gerid Forste, at an apartment in the 31-hundred block of Black Partridge Lane in Valparaiso on April 2nd. An autopsy conducted last week revealed Forste suffered three gunshot wounds, the most serious of which was a gunshot wound to the chest area, which caused massive internal injuries. The death marks the first homicide of 2014 in Porter County.
Authorities report Bratcher and Forste had been living together at the apartment and Forste's death resulted from an altercation over Forste allegedly attempting to steal Bratcher's cologne, and the Smith and Wesson AR-15 rifle used in the shooting.