Man charged with murder in Chicago Heights teen stabbing claims self-defense, attorney says

Oronde Hardy, the Monee man charged with murder in the stabbing death of 13-year old David Sanchez in February, also pushed Sanchez’s sister and stabbed his brother, according to court documents.

A verbal altercation led Hardy, 50, to pull out a “switchblade” and stab David and his 15-year-old brother Feb. 26, according to Chicago Heights police and court documents. The altercation began after Hardy “mean mugged” the siblings and initiated other aggressive behaviors, state prosecutors said during Hardy’s detention hearing.

Specifics about the interaction between Hardy and the children, including what was said between Hardy and them, is not clear. Hardy was ordered to be detained while awaiting trial but has appealed that order and is seeking 24-hour GPS monitoring instead.

Hardy’s attorney, Matthew McQuaid, told the Daily Southtown his client was as at the park with his family when the Sanchez children attacked him.

“This is not a murder at all. This is a self defense case,” he said. The state “never gave him a chance to talk about what happened before they arrested him. They just arrested him.”

McQuaid declined to give more specifics about what Hardy said occurred between him and the children.

“We will have our day in court,” he said.

An obituary posted on Facebook by Emma Tijerina, who said she is David’s mother, noted her gratitude for the multitude of individuals and organizations who have helped her.

“This community has shown us nothing but love and that no matter what, everyone will have each other’s backs no matter who you are or what has happened,” she wrote. “This is the most beautiful thing we have ever seen.”

Chicago Heights Middle School, where David was a student, put together a rally in his memory. The school did not respond to requests for comment.

His older brother, who survived the attack, could not be reached. Tijerina, Hardy’s lawyer and Chicago Heights police did not respond to requests for comment.

hsanders@chicagotribune.com