Man killed his landlord, invaded 2 apartments during Monday night crime spree in Back of the Yards: prosecutors

Rolando Morales (Cook County sheriff’s office)

CHICAGO — Prosecutors say a Chicago man committed two home invasions and stabbed his landlord to death during a manic crime spree in Back of the Yards on Monday night. Rolando Morales, 32, was ordered detained as a safety threat by Judge Barbara Dawkins.

The chain of events began with Morales knocking on his landlord’s door in the 1700 block of West 45th Street, asking for help with a broken window, prosecutors told the judge. Morales eventually forced his way into another apartment in the building and pushed the woman who lives there, officials said.

Upon hearing the woman’s screams, the landlord, 61-year-old Lorenzo Lavalle, stepped outside to see what was going on.

Morales confronted Lavalle and stabbed him in the chest with a kitchen knife, prosecutors said. He died about an hour later at Holy Cross Hospital.

Meanwhile, Morales, who had blood on his hands and clothing, fled to a nearby apartment building and crawled through a woman’s kitchen window, according to a Chicago police report. He pushed the 33-year-old woman and went to her bedroom, the report said.

Witnesses directed police to the woman’s bedroom, and officers arrested them there. The cops wrote in their report that Morales “appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance” and was “acting erratic and not responding to verbal direction.”

He is charged with first-degree murder and two counts of home invasion with bodily injury.

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