CROWN POINT | Sentencing of a Hammond man who pleaded guilty in the 2011 murder of a neighbor was postponed Thursday in Lake County Criminal Court until April 24.
Lumaz Lattef Thompson, 25, of the 900 block of Morris Street, was charged with murder for strangling to death Denise M. Collier, 54, inside her apartment in the 6100 block of Harrison Avenue on the night of June 1, 2011.
He reportedly admitted to police under questioning he had strangled her, according to court documents.
Collier's body was found in her apartment by police on June 7, 2011, after friends and relatives reported they had not seen her for several days, and that her orange Chevrolet Camaro was missing from its usual parking space.
She had been choked to death with her own skirt, which police reported was knotted around her throat when officers were let into her flat by the apartment building's manager.
Neighbors described Thompson to detectives as someone they saw with Collier on the last night anyone had seen her alive. He was later identified through surveillance video from a Calumet Avenue business, according to documents filed by the Lake County prosecutor's office.
In the video, Thompson and two other men are seen approaching Collier as she left a store after buying a six-pack of beer, then getting into the car with her and driving off, according to the prosecutor's affidavit.
Thompson entered a guilty plea to felony Class A charges of voluntary manslaughter/killing another human being in sudden heat on Feb. 7. It was an agreement arranged between Lake County prosecutors and Thompson’s defense attorney, Jamise Perkins.
Lake Criminal Court Judge Clarence Murray will preside at Thompson’s sentencing in April.
Lumaz Thompson is the second member of his family to be sentenced to prison for killing someone.
On Oct. 18, 2009, Thompson's then-17-year-old brother, Reo Jonta Thompson, and Reo's 18-year-old friend, Gregory Brooks Jr., forced their way into the home of Milton McClendon, 78, and his wife, Ruby McClendon, after feigning car trouble.
The couple were brutalized and held captive for several hours before being driven in the trunk of their car to a Calumet City forest preserve, where they were shot to death.
Reo Jonta Thompson, is currently serving a sentence of 120 years in prison for his role in the McClendons’ murders.