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Chillicothe Times-Bulletin - Chillicothe, IL
  • Two men remain in hospital after fight, one with stab wounds

  • An attack that may have been fueled by alcohol and rage has left two men in area hospitals, one in critical condition with multiple stab wounds.
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  • An attack that may have been fueled by alcohol and rage has left two men in area hospitals, one in critical condition with multiple stab wounds.
    Jerry L. Hartley, 49, of Princeville and Ronald L. Hukill, 65, of Fairview both remained hospitalized Saturday night.
    Hartley was in critical condition Saturday at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria after undergoing surgery Friday night. Hukill was in stable condition at Methodist Medical Center in Peoria after experiencing chest pains following a fight between the two men.
    Police had been called to a disturbance involving Hartley, his stepsister, Amy M. Oppe, 41, and her stepfather, Lee Hartley, 71, earlier in the day.
    Just after 7 p.m., they were called again, this time to the home of Oppe's mother, at 5816 E. High St. According to a police report, Oppe and Hukill - her father - were accosted by Hartley, who berated and threatened the pair. Hartley struck Oppe, then tackled Hukill and began punching him, according to the report.
    An off-duty Peoria police officer who was walking nearby saw the struggle and broke up the fight. Believing Hartley was the aggressor, the officer stood with the man and waited for police to arrive. It was then that the officer noticed that Hartley was "bleeding profusely" and heard him say that he didn't want to die, according to the report.
    Police briefly took Hukill into custody and seized a pocketknife and another with a 3- to 4-inch blade. That knife is believed to have been the weapon Hukill allegedly used in his defense.
    Information on the prior altercation between the two parties was not available.
    Lee Hartley admitted to police that he and his son had been drinking throughout the day, according to the report. Empty and two half-full beer cans were found in Hartley's vehicle.

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