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Day Care Owner Dies Before Standing Trial In Case Of Boy’s Death

Child Daycare  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Child Daycare (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) — In 2009, a boy was killed by an employee at a Lincolnshire day care center, and the trial of the owner on obstruction of justice charges was to begin soon.

But that owner, Judith Katz, 67, died Sunday.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Marsett reports

As WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Marsett reports, Katz, in a wheelchair and with a nurse on hand, appeared in a Lake County courtroom Friday for a final pretrial appearance. Her lawyer lost an 11th-hour bid to have the charges against her dismissed.

Katz was the owner of the Minee Subee day care center in Lincolnshire, where 16-month-old Benjamin Kingan died after suffering a skull fracture on Jan. 14, 2009.

A former worker at the day care center, Melissa Calusinski, 25, was convicted last year of first-degree murder in the toddler’s death.

Prosecutors said Melissa Calusinki slammed the 22-pound boy’s head to the ground on, after having “issues” with the children in the room.

Calusinski gave police two videotaped statements, but her defense attorneys have claimed her confession was coerced.

She is now serving a 31-year prison term.

The Chicago Sun-Times contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.