A 59-year-old man in Illinois was killed earlier this month after reportedly being confronted by a neighbor while using a leaf blower in his driveway.
According to reports, William Martys was found lying in the driveway of his home in Antioch Township, Illinois back on the night of April 12. He had been shot once in the head. First responders were called to the scene and rushed Martys to a local hospital, but he was pronounced dead.
Immediately, deputies from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office began investigating. They uncovered a gun on the edge of the property of Martys’ neighbor, 79-year-old Ettore Lacchei (pictured in his most recent mugshot, above). After talking to witnesses in the area about the two neighbors, they began to form a theory of the case. Days later, they arrested Lacchei at his home without incident and charged him with first-degree murder.
That story is just reaching the news cycle now, because on Thursday, a Lake County judge demanded Lacchei remain in jail until his trial. Judge Theodore Potkonjak ordered the 79-year-old Italian man remanded to Lake County Jail in the Chicago suburb of Waukegan as prosecutors make their case against him. Per the Daily Herald, Lacchei had been making plans to travel to his native Italy and “would’ve been out of the country had deputies tried to arrest him just a few days later.”
According to prosecutors, Martys was using his leaf blower on his own property at about 7:35 p.m. local time on April 12. They believe Lacchei approached Martys and began arguing with him. Amid the verbal dispute, Lacchei allegedly pulled out a handgun and shot Martys in the head.
During Thursday’s court hearing, it came out that Lacchei had been nursing “various perceived grievances” with Martys for some time. Another neighbor on the street where the murder occurred confirmed that history with WLS-TV, too. JR McCarty told the outlet that Lacchei had allegedly pulled a gun on Martys “at least once before,” and added:
“No one deserves anything like that and it’s just kind of crazy to think that someone can just break like that over just a simple argument that can be fixed just talking.”
Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg spoke to the media about the awful shooting on Thursday. Per Good Morning America, the sheriff stated:
“Our condolences go out to the family and friends of William Martys, who was senselessly murdered. The members of the sheriff’s office are relentless when it comes to seeking justice for victims. The members of our Criminal Investigations Division have been working around the clock to bring Mr. Martys’ murderer to justice, and I am happy Mr. Martys’ family can begin the closure and healing process.”
The Washington Post interviewed Martys’ daughter Jacquelyn Martys about the tragedy, too. The heartbroken woman told that outlet:
“We are trying to deal with the tremendous loss.”
Lacchei’s next court appearance will be on May 25, per the Daily Herald. We hope Martys’ family can somehow find justice and closure after his senseless and unnecessary killing.
To learn more about the impact of gun violence, visit https://www.apha.org/topics-and-issues/gun-violence.