A 26-year-old transient pleaded not guilty Thursday to three counts of murder in the stabbing death of a family friend in Waukegan.
Kevin C. Curtis is accused of killing Jacob Blum, 19, in the early morning hours of July 16 during a visit at a hotel in the 3100 block of Belvidere Road, authorities said in Lake County court.
Curtis, who also has lived in Kenosha Wis., remains held in Lake County jail in lieu of $5 million bail. He is due back in court Sept. 5, said defense attorney Eric Rinehart of Waukegan.
Authorities said they were called to the hotel about 11:30 p.m. with claims there was a man in the lobby who had been stabbed in the chest.
Blum identified Curtis as his attacker before being taken to Vista West Medical Center, where he died of his injuries at 12:30 a.m. July 17, authorities said.
Police said Curtis was visiting with Blum and a member of Blum's family in their hotel room when, without warning, Curtis stabbed the victim about two hours into the gathering.
After the stabbing, Blum was able to make it out of the hotel room and stumble to the lobby for help.
Curtis was initially charged with a single count of first-degree murder, but additional counts were added after he was indicted earlier this month.
If found guilty of the most serious charge, Curtis could be sentenced up to 60 years in prison, Rinehart said.