Amid claims the witnesses in the Colin Nutter murder case are not able to offer credible testimony, Lake County Judge Victoria Rossetti scheduled hearings on a number of defense motions at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 4, according to a spokesperson for the Lake County State’s attorney’ office.
“It's my belief that the witnesses (including Lauren Hahn who claims she heard the defendants talking about their plan to kill Nutter) can't testify because they don't know what's going on," Robert Ritacca, the lawyer for defendant Daniel Vatamoniuc, said in a story in the Chicago Tribune Monday.
Hahn is one of the witnesses Ritacca is challenging as well as one of the police officers who testified before the Lake County Grand Jury in June before Vatamoniuc, 17, was indicted for first degree murder along with Benjamin Schenk, 20, of Highwood and Michael Coffee, 17, of Highland Park.
According to the Tribune article, Hahn was with the three defendants before the slaying, saw the gun and heard them talk about who would carry it. "It was freaking me out. I said, 'Get that out of here,'" she said then.
Ritacca has continually professed Vatamoniuc’s innocence. “I’m going to try this case,” Ritacca said Oct. 1 when Rossetti moved Vatamoniuc’s trial date to Nov. 18. “They (the prosecution) have nothing.”
Vatamoniuc, Schenk and Coffee were charged with shooting Nutter June 3, arrested June 7 and indicted June 26. At the time of the arrest statements by Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim indicated Schenk shot Nutter in the back of the head while the other two defendants were in the car.
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