Merrillville man gets 100 years in tow truck murder: records

A Merrillville man was sentenced on May 24 to 100 years in a tow truck murder, court records show.

Maximilliono Farias, 39, said he would appeal, according to court filings.

He got 63 years for murder, for hitting and killing John Garner, 19; and 37 years for attempted murder by targeting Garner’s friend Cameron Prince, then 18, who was walking with him. Prince had been involved in a relationship with Farias’ wife until a few months earlier.

At sentencing, court records indicate Judge Gina Jones noted Farias had the “opportunity to change his decision” and “went to great lengths to be dishonest” after the incident.

Merrillville Police were called around 7 p.m. May 16, 2022, to Sheffield’s Sportsbar and Restaurant parking lot, 1515 E. 82nd Ave., for a reported crash. Garner was lying in the south parking lot.

Investigators suspected Farias’ wife Dezarae initially lied to them before she admitted the relationship with Prince. She lied to police because she was “scared of losing” Farias, she told police, according to court records.

She said Farias was driving between 20 to 30 mph before he hit Garner, charges allege. She believed Farias was trying to “scare” Prince.

She told police Farias blamed her that he “killed an innocent person” because of her relationship with Prince, court records show.

Farias fled the scene. He was arrested at the Pilot Travel Center gas station near Indiana 2 and Interstate 65.

Garner was a YouTube creator using his stage name, Fhantxm, who loved making music, according to an online fundraiser for his funeral.

Deputy Prosecutors Cole Galloway and Maureen Koonce were assigned. Defense lawyer John Maksimovich represented Farias.

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