Lake County Criminal Court judge rescheduled the trial date for Daniel
of the three defendants in the Colin Nutter murder case, today in Waukegan
despite objections from Vatamoniuc’s lawyer.
Vatamoniuc, 17, of Highland Park, was set to stand trial Oct. 7. for the June 3 slaying of Nutter, 20, also of Highland Park, but the Lake County State’s Attorney’s office told Judge Victoria Rossetti it needed more time. She rescheduled the trial for Nov. 18.
“We have shown good faith,” Assistant Lake County State’s Attorney Reggie Mathews said. “We’re four months out (since Vatamoniuc was arrested) and there is a myriad of evidence. He (Vatamoniuc lawyer Robert Ritacca) has wanted these things as well.”
Ritacca was having none of it. “I’m 100 percent ready for trial,” he said. “This person (Vatamoniuc) is the most innocent of the three defendants. We know this is a very, very serious matter.”
With the delay, Ritacca told Rossetti he wanted her to reconsider the $5 million bond which has been set in the case which would require $500,000 cash to be deposited with the court to allow Vatamoniuc to make bail. “He is not even close to having that amount of money,” Ritacca said.
Rossetti scheduled a status hearing at 9 a.m. Oct. 21 to establish times to decide all motions pending in the case. Mathews said he would keep a plea offer which has been given to Vatamoniuc open through that date. Details have not been released though some media reports have indicated it would require Vatamoniuc to spend 25 years in prison.
Ritacca doubts the case will be resolved without a trial. “The numbers don’t make sense,” he said after court. “I’m going to try this case. They (the prosecution) do not need his (Vatamoniuc’s) testimony,” he added referring to his opinion of the value his client’s story would add to the prosecution of the other two defendants.
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