A 23-year-old man who slashed an unarmed rival with a knife in a “potentially deadly” attack following a dominoes game in a North Side yard has been jailed for three years and eight months.
The victim, who suffered deep wounds to his left thigh and buttock, lost so much blood in the attack, doctors initially gave him only a 50/50 chance of survival.
Maurice Jackson was charged with attempted murder in connection with the stabbing in April.
But prosecutors accepted a guilty plea to the lesser charge of causing grievous bodily harm on the morning of a planned trial on Monday.
Passing sentence on Wednesday, Justice Timothy Owen said both men had been drunk at the time of the incident and it was almost impossible to get a reliable account of what happened.
He said the dispute had initially flared in the aftermath of a dominoes game in the yard of a North Side home on April 16.
Witnesses had described how Mr. Jackson, armed with a bottle in either hand, had threatened his eventual victim and had to be disarmed, the judge said.
The pair were separated, but clashed again later in the evening. This time, Jackson, armed with a long-bladed knife, stabbed his victim causing a severe gash, 1 1/2 inches wide and 6 inches deep, to his left thigh, and a similar wound, 1 1/2 inches wide and 8 inches deep, to his left buttock, the court heard.
Regardless of who was the initial aggressor in the final dispute, Justice Owen said, Jackson had escalated the conflict by arming himself with a deadly weapon and using it with force on an unarmed man.
“You are solely responsible for his life-threatening injuries and it is only because of the exceptional skill of the medical services that he didn’t die from them,” he said.
The judge said medical reports showed it was unclear if the victim would ever recover fully from his injuries and was still at risk of losing his leg.
He accepted that Jackson, who is married with a 4-year-old son, was genuinely remorseful and gave credit for his guilty plea. Despite previous convictions for common assault and drug-related offenses, he accepted this was Jackson’s first charge of serious violence.
“It is obvious you have a serious alcohol problem and that drinking to excess was the main factor behind your criminal, potentially deadly attack on an unarmed man,” the judge said.
He said he hoped Jackson would reflect on his behavior and emerge from prison as a “better man.”