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Hobart man mulling plea offer in fatal stabbing
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Hobart man mulling plea offer in fatal stabbing

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CROWN POINT — A Hobart man has a couple of days left to decide if he will accept the state's plea agreement offer or take his case to trial.

Marco Antonio Gonzalez, 19, faces charges of murder, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated battery and battery. He is accused of on Oct. 19, 2013, fatally stabbing to death Jesus Ibarra, 19, of East Chicago. 

The stabbing happened outside a Family Express on 2 East Old Ridge Road in Hobart during a fight involving multiple people, according to court records. 

People who were with Ibarra took him to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary where he died from the stab wound, according to court records. 

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michelle Jatkiewicz said during Wednesday's hearing that the state was offering Gonzalez a plea agreement that would call for him to admit to committing aggravated battery.

The agreement called for an argued sentence, which means he would face anywhere from six to 20 years in prison. The state would dismiss the other charges he faces.

But a tearful Gonzalez, who was 17 when the stabbing happened, didn't seem convinced by the plea agreement. His defense attorney, Larry Rogers, said his client was unsure, because he was receiving multiple opinions about what to do.

Lake County Criminal Judge Samuel Cappas explained in detail to Gonzalez the sentencing ranges for each charge he faces, and how judges review mitigating and aggravating factors before handing down a sentence. 

The attorneys agreed to return to court Monday to determine if Gonzalez would accept the plea agreement or if the case would be set for a jury trial. 

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