Crime Watch 8

Man convicted in officer’s 1981 death set for prison release

GARY, Ind. (AP) – A man convicted of killing a Gary police officer is set to be freed from an Indiana prison after twice having death sentences overturned for the 1981 fatal shooting.

State prison records show 62-year-old Zolo Agona Azania is scheduled for release this week from the Miami Correctional Facility near Peru.

Allen County juries sentenced Azania, formerly known as Rufus Averhart, to death twice for killing Gary police Lt. George Yaros during a bank robbery. The Indiana Supreme Court overturned the sentences. Azania accepted a 74-year-sentence in 2008. He earned good-time credit that shortened his prison stay.

Tim Yaros of Valparaiso tells The (Northwest Indiana) Times he feels like he let his father down by agreeing with prosecutors to drop their bid for a death sentence against Azania.

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