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updated: 12/20/2013 7:11 PM

North Aurora man gets 11 years for fatally stabbing father

N. Aurora mans pleads guilty to reduced charge

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  • A North Aurora police squad car guarded the entrance to a home on the 700 block of Jorstad Drive in North Aurora where Michael Harris, 41, was stabbed to death on Aug. 20, 2012. His son, Martrell, was sentenced Friday to 11 years in prison.

       A North Aurora police squad car guarded the entrance to a home on the 700 block of Jorstad Drive in North Aurora where Michael Harris, 41, was stabbed to death on Aug. 20, 2012. His son, Martrell, was sentenced Friday to 11 years in prison.
    Harry Hitzeman | Staff Photographer

  • Martrell D. Harris

      Martrell D. Harris

 
 

A 25-year-old North Aurora man was sentenced to 11 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to the reduced charge of second-degree murder in last year's stabbing death of his father.

Martrell D. Harris stabbed Michael Harris, 41, after the elder Harris argued with family members. The younger Harris argued that he believed other family members were in danger, Kane County prosecutors said.

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The killing occurred at the home on the 900 block of Jorstad Street in the Tanner Trails subdivision

"After consulting with the family members of the victim, Michael Harris, we believe this is an appropriate outcome to this tragic case," said State's Attorney Joe McMahon. "I hope this guilty plea helps the Harris family find a sense of peace and justice."

Martrell Harris was initially charged with first-degree murder of his father on Aug. 20, 2012. With the second-degree murder charge, Harris can have his 11-year sentence cut in half for good behavior while in prison.

He also gets credit for about 16 months being held in the Kane County jail while his case was pending.

According to prosecutors, the elder Harris and several family members had several heated arguments that morning, and Martrell Harris and his brother pushed their father into a walk-in closet after he was arguing with his wife.

Martrell Harris went downstairs but believed he and other family members were in imminent danger, so he grabbed a knife with a 3-inch-long blade.

He then went upstairs, argued with his father again, and stabbed his father once in the chest, killing him, prosecutors said.

After the stabbing, Martrell Harris ran away from the home, prompting a search that locked down schools and involved a helicopter search until he was found.

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