Bail Denied For Dad, Stepmom In Death Of Christian Choate
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CROWN POINT, Ind. (CBS) — A request for bail was dismissed Wednesday for the father and stepmother of a 13-year-old boy who was found buried in a shallow grave in a Black Oak mobile home park.
Lake Superior Court Magistrate Kathleen Sullivan determined that Riley Choate and Kimberly Kubina are wanted in Kentucky on cases pending there, which rendered moot the request for bail in their murder case.
Sullivan has presided at two bail hearings for Choate, 39, of Hammond, and Kubina, 46, of Gary’s Black Oak section. She canceled the third hearing for mid-November, according to an online docket entry in the case.
Choate and Kubina are charged with murder, battery, neglect of a dependent and obstruction of justice in the death of Christian Choate, whose body was unearthed May 4 from under a shed in the Colfax Mobile Home Park where the family lived at the time.
The two co-defendants, who are in the process of divorcing, have pleaded not guilty. Their jury trial is scheduled for May 14.
On Monday, Christian Choate’s sister, Christina, testified about how the boy was locked in the bathroom, a bedroom closet and eventually a dog cage and how her father and stepmother had put her in charge of Christian’s care.
Christina Choate said Choate and Kubina had told her Christian had molested a boy. Shortly after that allegation, the family moved from Merrillville to Black Oak and neither Christian nor Christina attended school.
Christina Choate said her father was in charge of disciplining Christian but she also saw Kubina slap him. The night before Christian died, Riley Choate became angry that Christian wouldn’t eat and punched him in the side of his face, forehead and back of his head.
“He told me I better keep an eye on my brother or I’d be with him,” Christina Choate recalled. Her brother didn’t speak as she put him back in the dog cage.
The next morning, she found her brother slumped over inside the cage, which was big enough for him to sit with his legs outstretched and his back against one side. She tried unsuccessfully to feed him twice. “I got mad and I hit him,” she said.
A few hours later, she noticed her brother was not breathing, called a relative who was with her stepmother, and tried to resuscitate him with an air mattress pump.
Afterward, Christina said Kubina told her wrap up the boy’s body in a blanket, put him in two construction-type garbage bags, which were duct-taped, then place him in a storage tote that was loaded in a van and taken to Kubina’s grandmother’s mobile home.
A few days later, Christina Choate said her father and Kubina went to Kubina’s grandmother’s mobile home and returned “all muddy.”
Christina Choate said her father and Kubina told her and other family members to keep quiet about what happened to Christian.
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