You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • 2011's drug ring bust: Where are they now?
    More than three years after the members of the drug trafficking ring were rousted from their homes, cuffed and taken into federal custody, nearly all now know their fate.
  • Fifth man handed 10 years for nabbing, beating teen
    The fifth of six then-teenagers who beat and held hos­tage another teen before dumping him in a park with bleeding on his brain and a fractured sternum was sentenced to prison Friday.
  • Report public, Wartell says
    In the five months since an investigative report was declared evidence in former IPFW Chancellor Mike Wartell's lawsuit against Purdue University, university attorneys never asked for a court order to keep it from the public.

Beating death brings manslaughter plea

28-year-old admits July 17 killing after night of drinking


– A 28-year-old Fort Wayne man pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to involuntary manslaughter, admitting to beating another man to death during a night of drinking.

Steven L. Lemler, of the 1700 block of High Street, admitted to killing 42-year-old Kirk D. Lecount on July 17.

In exchange for his guilty plea, Lemler will be sentenced to a total of eight years in prison, with two years suspended and to be served on probation.

He must also undergo alcohol counseling, according to court documents.

He will be sentenced this month.

According to court documents, Lemler and Lecount were drinking with a group of people in the backyard of another house on High Street when Lemler became irritated with Lecount, believing he had disrespected a woman in the group.

Lemler punched Lecount in the face, knocking him out.

After another person picked up Lecount and put him in a recliner, Lemler punched him two or three more times in the face and threw a red cooler at his head, according to court documents.

After that, two other men took Lecount down the street to his own home and left him in his yard, alive but "out of it," according to court documents.

Early the next morning, paramedics were called to Lecount's home after a neighbor reported the man lying face down in the yard. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and an autopsy found the cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head.

When police interviewed Lemler, he acknowledged drinking with Lecount but denied attacking him, according to court documents.