JANESVILLE

A man accused in a fatal stabbing in Milton in 2015 has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.

Mario E. Lopez, 29, of 830 Harding St., No. 111, Janesville, had been charged with party to first-degree intentional homicide, which carries a life sentence.

But in a plea agreement, the charge was changed to second-degree reckless homicide by use of a weapon, to which Lopez pleaded guilty in Rock County Court last week.

The reduced charge carries a maximum prison-plus-supervision sentence of 25 years.

Mario’s younger brother, Michael A. Lopez, 27, also had faced the charge of party to first-degree intentional homicide.

Michael Lopez’s charge was reduced in September 2016 to aiding a felon, and he was sentenced to four years in prison plus five years of extended supervision.

The brothers were involved in the stabbing of Mark Marquez on Nov. 15, 2015, after they heard Marquez abused their mother, according to the criminal complaint.

Marquez was the common-law husband of the boys’ mother and had helped raise them, according to attorneys’ statements in court.

Marquez survived the knife assault, but he died of a chest infection while recovering from his wounds in February 2016.

Judge Michael Haakenson ordered a pre-sentence investigation of Mario Lopez, who is scheduled to be sentenced April 27.

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