September 21, 2014
Eric O’Neil spent part of Father’s Day enjoying a beer on his longtime neighbor’s porch on the Far South Side.
Before the night was over, O’Neil’s friend, Louis Winn, Jr. — a father and a grandfather — was stabbed to death in O’Neil’s car.
Cook County prosecutor Colleen Rogers said in court Tuesday that before the 56-year-old Winn was stabbed to death by his niece, she “reproached the victim about how he was spending his time,” near their home in the 10400 block of South Morgan Street.
O’Neil told the Sun-Times Tuesday he didn’t know what started the fight but remembers the two getting into a physical altercation after Takia Lanza, his niece, punched Winn in the face.
“I wasn’t paying attention because I didn’t think it was serious,” O’Neil, 52, said.
O’Neil said Lanza, 39, also punched him inadvertently when he tried to break up the fight.
Eventually, Lanza went back inside the house, prosecutors said.
But when Winn got into O’Neil’s car, she allegedly came back outside out with a steak knife, reached inside the passenger side of the car and stabbed Winn repeatedly in the chest, prosecutors said.
“I thought she was punching him but then Louis told me, ‘Aww. She stabbed me’ and passed out,” O’Neil said.
O’Neil said he was able to get Winn out of the car and called 911.
But it was too late.
Winn was stabbed through the heart and had multiple defense wounds, Rogers said.
O’Neil said he was still recovering from the shock of watching his neighbor of roughly three decades die.
“Someone got murdered in my car and for what?” he said.
Lanza, mother of a seven-year-old boy, is charged with Winn’s murder and was ordered held in lieu of $2 million bail Tuesday.