Patel : father accused of burning boys to death will stand trial
- From: indigoace@xxxxxxx (Indigo Ace)
- Date: Thu, 04 Dec 2008 19:22:08 GMT
From the Chicago Tribune--
Glendale Heights father accused of burning boys to death will stand
His plea deal is declined, so he could face the death penalty in
killings of his sons, 7 and 4
By Art Barnum | Tribune reporter
December 4, 2008
An April trial date has been set for the Glendale Heights father
accused of burning his sons to death after his offer to plead guilty
in exchange for dropping the death penalty was declined, prosecutors
and public defenders said.
Kaushik Patel, 34, is charged with dousing his sons, Vishv, 7, and Om,
4, with gasoline in the bathroom of their home on Nov. 18, 2007,
leaving them with severe burns that led to their death months later.
DuPage County Public Defender Robert Miller told Judge Kathryn
Creswell in August that Patel was willing to accept a life sentence in
exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
"The state has declined our offer," Miller said Wednesday after
Creswell set an April 21 trial date. "We will continue to supply the
state with mitigation in an effort to persuade them to accept the
DuPage State's Atty. Joseph Birkett declined to comment on the Patel
plea agreement Wednesday but Assistant State's Atty. Alex McGimpsey
told Creswell in August that four months after the offer was made, "we
do not have a resolution. "
McGimpsey also told Creswell that prosecutors are asking for a
pretrial hearing in which they will seek to introduce one or more
statements at the murder trial reportedly made by one of the two young
victims as they lingered in Loyola University Medical Center's burn
Om died in January of his injuries and Vishv in February.
Statements made by unavailable witnesses at a trial must be approved
by a judge. Creswell set the hearing for Feb. 27.
Similar statements were allowed and made at the 1998 trial of three
people accused of killing an Addison mother, Deborah Evans, and her
two children, Samantha and Joshua, in 1995. The defendants were
convicted of murder in that case.
Patel originally contended that he was trying to commit suicide when
the boys ran into the bathroom and were accidentally set on fire. But
later in a jailhouse interview with the Tribune, he claimed he didn't
remember lighting the fire.
Birkett is a strong proponent of the state's death penalty statute but
has backed off that stance in two previous cases in favor of life
sentences: Marilyn Lemak, a Naperville mother who killed her three
young children in 1999, and Michael Alfonso of Wheaton, for murdering
two former lovers, one in 1992 and one in 2001.
Two men convicted in DuPage County killings sit on the state's Death
Row: Eric Hanson of Naperville, convicted of the 2005 murder of four
family members; and Laurence Lovejoy of Aurora for the 2005 murder of
a stepdaughter he was accused of sexually abusing.
Anne, indigoace at aol period com
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