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Prosecutors Want To Use Victim’s Emails In Vaughn Case

Christopher Vaughn (back left) is accused of killing his wife and three children. (CBS File Photo)

Christopher Vaughn (back left) is accused of killing his wife and three children. (CBS File Photo)

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JOLIET, Ill. (STMW) – Will County prosecutors want to admit email and Internet chat evidence into the murder case against Christopher Vaughn.

Vaughn is accused of murdering his wife, Kimberly, 34; and children Abigayle, 12; Cassandra, 11; and Blake, 8.

Vaugh’s defense is that his wife was depressed and suicidal and she shot him in the leg while the family’s SUV was parked along a frontage road in Channahon Township in June 2007. Then she turned the gun on her children and herself while her husband was out of the vehicle, he told authorities.

Asst. State’s Atty. John Connor filed a motion late last year asking that the e-mails between Kimberly and her husband, sister, co-worker and fellow students at the online University of Phoenix will show she was not depressed or suicidal.

The “state-of-mind” evidence will help prove Christopher Vaughn was the killer, Connor said.

He was ready to argue the motion in court Tuesday, but defense attorney Gerald Kielian was not ready. Instead, the sides agreed to come back for a status hearing on May 10 when a new hearing date will be set for the motion.

Also to be determined at a later date is where money will come from to pay Vaughn’s defense attorneys. They were being paid from the state’s capital defense fund when Vaughn was facing the death penalty. But the death penalty was abolished last month and the fund is going to be terminated.

Vaughn’s case was decertified as a death penalty case by the state’s attorney’s office as soon as Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill into law.

At the time of the murders, the family lived in Oswego, and Vaughn worked as a private investigator. The family was en route to a Springfield water park when the shootings happened.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)