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Hammond man who stabbed roommate gets 4 years

BeniLesiak. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media









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Benito Lesiak. | Provided Photo~Sun-Times Media ptmet

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Updated: March 19, 2012 7:11PM



Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez sentenced a Hammond man to four years in prison for reckless homicide in the 2011 stabbing death of his roommate.

Benito David Lesiak, 57, was convicted Feb. 10 after about seven hours of deliberations over two days in the death of Scott Philips, 44, who was stabbed in the residence they stared in the 1200 block of Sherman Street, Hammond.

Lesiak testified that Philips was agitated because Lesiak had decided to move out on Aug. 1. Lesiak said he grabbed a knife to ward off Philips, who had picked up Lesiak, pushed him and slapped him on the sides of his head.

Lake Superior Court Judge Salvador Vasquez said the jury rejected Lesiak’s self-defense claim and acquitted Lesiak of voluntary manslaughter. The jury also acquitted Lesiak of murder. Lesiak faced two to eight years for reckless homicide.

“He is the reckless reason the victim is not here today,” deputy prosecutor DeKeyu Sumner argued in seeking a four-year sentence.

Defense attorney Rich Wolter Jr., argued for leniency in light of his client’s health conditions from a serious vehicle crash and the remorse Lesiak expressed when police told him Philips had died.

Lesiak apologized to Philips’ family.

Vasquez said Lesiak has one prior felony conviction that dates back more than 20 years and he gave that minimal weight as an aggravating factor in deciding the sentence.



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