Judge Denies Bond Reduction In Toddler Murder
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LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. (STMW) — Despite new information alleging a toddler who died while in the care of a Lincolnshire day care worker actually died from a previous, undiagnosed injury, a judge on Tuesday denied a motion to reduce the bond for the woman being held in the boy’s death.
Melissa Calusinski, 24, has been held by Lake County authorities for more than two years since 16-month-old Benjamin Kingan died at the Minee-Subee Day Care Center in Lincolnshire.
Prosecutors contend Calusinski, since charged with first-degree murder, threw the boy to the ground after having “issues” with the children in the room.
But defense attorneys had hoped to submit testimony from their doctors who claim that Kingan had blood on his brain weeks before the Jan. 14, 2009 incident. They requested that Calusinski’s bond be lowered from the current $5 million to $1 million.
Judge Daniel Shanes denied the motion.
“I believe my daughter is innocent. I believe in what our experts found. I believe in my attorneys, and that’s why I believe that when they say we’re going to appeal it, it’s the right decision,” the woman’s father, Paul Calusinski, said Tuesday.
The experts say the injury would help explain why Kingan was reportedly very ill in the days before his death.
“On that Monday, before the incident happened, the child came to school. He was vomiting profusely, meaning it was projectile. He was real, real sick,” Paul Calusinski told NBC Chicago back in February.
Kingan was out of the day care on Tuesday but returned on Wednesday. He died at the day care later that day.
The prosecutors have in their possession, however, a 10-hour video-recorded interview in which Melissa Calusinski admits to “slamming” the toddler onto the floor.
Paul Calusinski said the admission was coerced.
“They told my daughter that they’re not leaving until they get to the truth. So in other words they did 10 hours without my attorney being there, and they got her to confess to a crime she did not commit,” he said.
Both parties are due back in court on June 20.
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