In the early morning hours of April 4, 2011—the night Sean Forester-Hoare’s knife sliced into Jonathan Kwiatkowski’s throat—did Forester-Hoare act in self-defense or was he a ticking time bomb?
A jury of three women and nine men are now deciding just that, as they try to reach a verdict in the trial for the 30-year-old Wind Point man, charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete told the jury that this was an easy case to decide because they had “heard everything” and he painted Forester-Hoare as “a ticking time bomb waiting to go off and the Kwiatkowski’s were unfortunately there when he went off and they couldn’t have been prepared for what was in store.”
Chiapete pointed to how Forester-Hoare had been “prowling the streets with a 9 ½-inch killing knife” and “had done what he had set out to do.”
For that reason, Chiapete said, Forester-Hoare was guilty of first-degree intentional homicide while armed.
The first thing the jury must decide is whether Forester-Hoare is guilty of first-degree intentional homicide. If not, they can then consider whether he is guilty of the less serious charges of second-degree intentional homicide or second-degree reckless homicide. If he is found guilty of any homicide charge, the jury must then discern whether or not Forester-Hoare was acting in self-defense.
The defense has consistently said that Forester-Hoare did not mean for Kwiatkowski to die, and that it was Forester-Hoare who was under attack by the Kwiatkowski family.
Defense attorney LaVoy painted an alternate picture in his closing arguments, saying Forester-Hoare probably “acted like a jerk” by verbally fighting with the Kwiatkowskis, he certainly didn’t intend to kill anyone.
LaVoy argued that on a 911 call Jonathan screamed for his dad to stop.
“If it was Jonathan who had to tell his father to stop, I think it’s reasonable to conclude that Mr. Forester-Hoare was on the receiving end of Timothy Kwiatkowski’s rage. And Mr. Forester-Hoare, when he was laying on the ground, had two choices – he could stay and continue to be hit or…use his weapon,” LaVoy said. “There was no opportunity to get out of this because they were all on him.”
LaVoy pointed out that Timothy punched Forester-Hoare in his head when he approached him and his wife, but Timothy told police he “remembered hitting the guy in the head to diffuse the situation…that’s when I started grabbing the guy.”
LaVoy argued that Forester-Hoare was on his knees and Timothy had pulled his shirt over his head and he couldn’t see, that’s when Corey, Jonathan, Lori and Timothy fought with Forester-Hoare.
After LaVoy finished, Chiapete addressed the jury again. He played the recording of the 911 call Jonathan Kwiatkowski made before he died. Friends and family members sobbed out loud when they heard Jonathan’s voice saying to the dispatcher, “He sliced my throat.” After the tape played, Chiapete ended his remarks saying, “He did what he came to do.”