(La Porte, IN) - On Tuesday night, a La Porte area man was found not guilty of murder but convicted of lesser charges in the 2019 beating death of his brother.
Gyle Delrio, 41, was found guilty of level 3 felony aggravated battery and level 5 felony involuntary manslaughter by a La Porte Circuit Court jury after more than three hours of deliberating. He was acquitted of murder and level 2 felony voluntary manslaughter.
Paul Delrio, 38, died soon after emergency responders found him unconscious inside a home he and his brother lived in with their mother in theh 200 block of West Johnson Road. Delrio’s claim of self-defense was disputed by LaPorte County Deputy Prosecutor Julianne Havens. During closing arguments,
Havens said the death happened after the victim and his mother left the residence because the defendant started trashing the home. She said the victim returned less than one hour later. Havens said exactly what transpired between the two men was not clear but the evidence indicates the defendant struck his angry brother “over and over and over again.” She said the defendant should have realized he was endangering his life but didn’t stop with the blows.
The defendant claimed he struck his brother with no more than seven punches. Havens, though, believed the number of blows was higher and fists alone could not have caused the tremendous amount of swelling to the victim’s head, broken ribs and lacerated liver. She pointed to a bed post as a possible weapon. “Did he use a bed post ? It’s hard to say but there was blood on it,” she said.
Delrio testified he and his brother were in a truck looking for their mother who had not returned. He said he told his brother to stop the truck because he was too drunk to drive and they switched places. Delrio, who also had been drinking, said they were heading back when his brother fell out of the truck then after climbing back in became enraged. He said his brother started grabbing the steering wheel. Delrio said he slammed on the brakes at more than 30 miles per hour and his brother’s head slammed into the dash board.
Defense Attorney Michael Campbell said the brothers went back inside the home where the victim came at his client on multiple occasions. “Gyle was defending himself,” he said. Campbell said any actual crime would have been reckless homicide or involuntary manslaughter from blows to the head after a brain injury caused by the dashboard. He said a doctor called by the prosecution testified such impact results in a fatal brain injury 34-percent of the time.
Delrio faces anywhere from a 4 to 22-year sentence. Convictions on the other counts would have carried a sentencing range of 45 to 95-years. No sentencing date was set.