A Hobart man was sentenced to 8 years Wednesday after admitting to chasing and stabbing a man in the leg and abdomen.
Thomas J. Foster, 22, pleaded guilty in October to aggravated battery. He was originally charged with multiple counts including attempted murder and battery.
Defense lawyer Lonnie Randolph II said Foster was raised mostly by a grandmother and grew up largely without a family. Since 16, he was “living on his own”, moving from home-to-home. It didn’t justify what happened, but maybe could explain a bit, he said.
Foster’s contact listed on a pre-sentencing report was his friend, no family, which was completely unusual, the lawyer said. Foster had a limited criminal history with one prior juvenile conviction for theft and no prior felonies, he said.
He had “no figure to guide him” and was “remorseful” for his actions, Randolph said, “a real sad situation.”
Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Keith Anderson said the victim was informed, the sentencing was “appropriate” and asked the judge to accept it.
Foster declined to speak in court.
“It’s a big deal, you’re young,” Judge Salvador Vasquez said, noting Foster had never spent a long time in prison.
“This is unfortunate and it is a sad day,” the judge said.
Foster appeared emotional. Before was led away in handcuffs, Randolph appeared to give him several words of encouragement.
Co-defendant Ryan Lehmann’s next hearing is Jan. 12.
A man dating Foster’s sister told police he was arguing with her on Mar. 21, 2021 around 1:45 a.m. on the 1900 block of Central Avenue when Foster, Lehmann and Lehman’s relative started chasing him, charges allege.
The man ran several blocks toward the Lake Station police station.
“Videotape this, I’m gonna gut him like a fish,” Foster said, according to the victim’s statement to police.
Foster caught him and stabbed him in the leg, the man told police. A few blocks away, Lehmann tripped him and Foster stabbed him two times in the abdomen, charges state. He was later taken to the hospital.