Woman accused in day-care murder 'scared and nervous'

  • Melissa M. Calusinski

    Melissa M. Calusinski

Updated 1/22/2009 4:37 PM

An attorney for the woman accused of killing a 16-month-old boy in a Lincolnshire day-care center last week says his client is "scared and nervous" as she's being held in the Lake County jail.

Scott Gordon, the defense lawyer, filed a motion Thursday in Lake County circuit court seeking a reduction in the $5 million bond for teacher's assistant Melissa Calusinski, 22, of the 500 block of Apache Avenue in Carpentersville.


Gordon said 10 percent of the $5 million that Calusinski would have to post to be freed before trial is "unfair" because she doesn't have a criminal history and isn't a flight risk. A hearing on the motion is set for Feb. 17.

"She's scared and nervous," Gordon said after Thursday's hearing in Waukegan. "She's never been in jail before."

Calusinski is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of 16-month-old Benjamin Kingan of Deerfield. The incident happened Jan. 14 at the Minee Subee day-care operation in Lincolnshire, authorities said.

Lincolnshire police accuse Calusinski of throwing Benjamin to the floor in Minee Subee because she was angry with other children in her care. Authorities said the impact caused Benjamin's fatal injuries, including a broken skull.

Gordon said Calusinski's brother and father attended Thursday's hearing and that her family extends condolences to Benjamin's parents. He said Calusinski intends to plead not guilty to first-degree murder.

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Calusinski also is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing Feb. 17. However, said Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Stephen Scheller, the preliminary hearing would be canceled if a case against Calusinski is presented to a grand jury before Feb. 17.

Minee Subee reopened for business Monday morning in Lincolnshire. Owners Judith and Norman Katz also have Minee Subee day-care operations in Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect.

Daily Herald Legal Affairs Writer Tony Gordon contributed to this report.

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