Post a story

Crime ›
News ›

Trial delayed for owner of day care where boy murdered

The trial was delay Monday for the woman who owned a Lincolnshire day care center when a boy was murdered there in 2009.

The 30-day delay followed a last-minute motion by prosecutors to change the wording of the indictment against former Minee Subee in the Park owner Judith Katz, who is accused of lying during the investigation into the 2009 death of toddler Benjamin Kingan.

But Monday, nearly three years after Katz was charged, prosecutors asked to reword the wording of the indictment, which stated that Katz “knowingly furnished false information to the police.” Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Christen Bishop asked that the words “to the police” be stricken.

Authorities have said that, after Benjamin died of a skull fracture on Jan. 14, 2009, Katz told some employees and parents that two staff members had been in the room when Benjamin fell ill, when only one staffer was actually there, in violation of state rules.

That staff member, Melissa Calusinski, of Carpentersville, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of the Deerfield boy. She was sentenced this month to 31 years in prison.

Katz, 67, of Arlington Heights, was charged with obstruction of justice in the same incident.

Bishop told the judge today that “Judith Katz did not tell the police anything,” and said that changing the indictment would not change the charge, or the fact that she still obstructed justice when she told other people to lie about what they told police.

“We are just striking language,” Bishop said. “It doesn’t change anything.”

But one of Katz’s attorneys, Jack Carriglio, disagreed, calling it a “radically different charge.”

“There was no statement by Ms. Katz to any law enforcement officer at all, which is the specific indictment,” Carriglio said. “We came here today to answer this charge and apparently they knew they can’t do it.”

The defense also offered up a last-minute motion to bar evidence, which was not argued Monday.

After scolding both sides for their 11th-hour motions, Judge John Phillips approved the prosecution’s motion to amend the indictment.

“It is clear…that the offense of obstruction does not require certain acts,” he said. “The amendment would be permissible because it does not alter the charge.”

At that, Carriglio moved for a continuance.

“We came here today to defend the charge that was in this indictment and would need the extra time to defend the new indictment,” he said. “For three years we have been focusing on the police officers.”

Phillips granted the continuance, but asked how the extra time would affect Katz’s health. Her lawyer has said she is receiving chemotherapy treatments for cancer, and Katz now barely resembles the heavily made-up woman seen in the mug shot taken shortly after her arrest.

“She’s enduring it…and she’s fighting it every day,” Carriglio said.

If convicted, Katz faces up to three years in prison.

Both sides are due back in court on March 30 to file any additional motions. The new trial date has been set for April 16.

Share this story

Recommended stories