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Courts

CROWN POINT — A 20-year-old man pleaded guilty Tuesday to reckless homicide for fatally stabbing a 50-year-old man last June during an argument at a Hammond apartment.

Leterr L. Petty admitted Tuesday at a plea hearing in Lake Criminal Court he recklessly killed Xavier Curtis during an argument June 10 at an apartment in the 6000 block of Hohman Avenue.

Police who responded to the apartment about 1:40 a.m. that day found Petty and his girlfriend's mother using rags to apply pressure to stab and slash wounds suffered by Curtis, court records state.

The mother told police Petty stabbed Curtis. She said 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,” records state.

Curtis was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead.

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Petty was charged with murder, aggravated battery, involuntary manslaughter and felony battery in the stabbing, but the Lake County Prosecutor's Office agreed to dismiss those charges for his guilty plea to reckless homicide.

Reckless homicide is a level 5 felony punishable by one to six years in prison.

Judge Samuel L. Cappas scheduled a sentencing hearing for July 31.

Gallery: Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.