CROWN POINT — A Hammond man was ordered Tuesday to serve a three-year sentence in the Lake County Community Corrections program for fatally stabbing a 50-year-old man during a fight.
Leterr L. Petty, 21, pleaded guilty in June to reckless homicide for killing Xavier Curtis during an argument June 10, 2017, at an apartment in the 6000 block of Hohman Avenue in Hammond.
In a statement read by Deputy Prosecutor Christopher Bruno, Curtis' family members said they were devastated by the death of Curtis, who had survived an aneurysm just weeks before.
Curtis left behind 10 children and grandchildren, some of whom had just come back into his life.
Curtis suffered three stab wounds, two of them 7 inches deep, Bruno said. He asked Lake Criminal Court Judge Samuel L. Cappas to sentence Petty to five years, with two to be served in prison and the remainder in community corrections.
Petty's attorney, John Cantrell, said Petty never intended to kill Curtis, who had been dating the mother of Petty's girlfriend.
"He was attacked by a drunk fella," Cantrell said. "He reacted horribly."
When police arrived, Petty and his girlfriend's mother were using rags to apply pressure to Curtis' stab and slash wounds.
The woman told police Curtis, who was intoxicated, got into an argument with her daughter and then began badgering Petty about getting a job and moving out of the apartment.
Petty told police Curtis punched him in the head and attacked him. He said he saw a knife within his reach, and he “just reacted and stabbed him,” court records state.
Outside the courtroom, Curtis' niece Kenya Curtis said the situation was a shame.
"May God have mercy on him," she said.