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Man charged in fatal stabbing in Bridgeport

Joey Lacyniak / Phofrom police News Affairs

Joey Lacyniak / Photo from police News Affairs

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Updated: June 20, 2012 5:27PM

The two men quarreled over a love triangle — and one allegedly pulled a gun on the other — at a Bridgeport party.

When they met later at a neighborhood bar, they hugged and shook hands, but in short order one of the men would be charged with stabbing the other to death.

Joey Lacyniak, who did time in prison for another murder, allegedly attacked 30-year-old John H. Hughes Monday outside Rocky’s Bar. Hughes was with his girlfriend — a woman who had previously dated Lacyniak.

But Lacyniak’s attorney said his 34-year-old client was acting in self-defense when he lunged at Hughes outside the bar in the 200 block of West 31st Street.

Hughes was “definitely the aggressor,” Todd Pugh said after Lacyniak was ordered held without bail Wednesday for Hugh’s murder.

But Lacyniak, who spent time behind bars for a 1998 gang-related slaying, had threatened Hughes and pointed a gun at him at a party he crashed in the neighborhood earlier, assistant state’s attorney Eric Bashirian said.

The host threw Lacyniak out of the gathering, but Lacyniak later turned up at the bar where Hughes and his girlfriend, who were planning a move to Texas, had already been drinking, Bashirian said.

Lacyniak first embraced Hughes and shook his hand.

But soon, Lacyniak grew aggressive and “got in” Hughes face, Bashirian said.

Hughes eventually left the bar with Lacyniak close behind, Bashirian said.

Lacyniak then allegedly charged at Hughes, prompting a fist fight between the pair. He then took out a knife and stabbed Hughes two times in the chest, piercing him in the heart with one of the blows, Bashirian said.

The man who had thrown Lacyniak out of his party had seen the stabbing from his apartment window along with others, and surveillance cameras from the bar caught Lacyniak in the violent act, Bashirian said.

Lacyniak ran away before surrendering to police later Monday night.

Pugh told Judge Laura Sullivan that the witnesses in the stabbing are gang members. The lawyer maintained that Lacyniak was at the bar before Hughes, who initiated the deadly love-triangle-motivated altercation.

Lacyniak, of the 200 block of West 31st Street, also suffers from psychiatric disorders, Pugh said.

The videotape paints a far different story than the one prosecutors presented in court, Pugh said outside court.

Lacyniak, who wore a light blue Taste of Chicago shirt, shorts and sandals in court, served roughly 11 years of a 25-year prison sentence for the murder of a 15-year-old, Bashirian said.

He also has an unlawful use a weapon conviction from 1997.

Lacyniak’s relatives at Wednesday’s bond hearing refused comment.

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