Friday, October 9, 2009

Murder suspect's trial reset, Jada Justice #Gary #Crown Point #Hobart

Murder suspect's trial reset: "CROWN POINT After lengthy argument by defense attorneys and the state, Lake Criminal Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. on Thursday agreed to reset the trial date of 19-year-old Engelica Castillo, accused of murder in the slaying of her 2-year-old cousin, Jada Justice.

Castillo and her boyfriend, Timothy Tkachik, 24, both of Hobart, each are charged with murder, neglect of a dependent, battery and false informing in connection with the child's death in June. The toddler's body was found encased in concrete and dumped in a rural LaPorte County swamp after the couple had claimed the child was abducted from a Gary service station.

Prosecutors announced last month the state would seek a sentence of life without parole for Castillo, which in part prompted Stefaniak's reluctant decision to reschedule her trial from Dec. 7 to March 29.

Castillo's public defender, Lemuel Stigler, argued the sentencing option of life without parole could result in a penalty phase for which the defense requires additional time to prepare."

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