With the trial of Daniel Vatamonivc, 17, of Highland Park, one of the three defendants in the Colin Nutter murder case set Oct. 7, the prosecution said it would seek a delay during a heated discussion today in Lake County Criminal Court in Waukegan.
The news the Lake County State’s attorney’s office would seek a new trial date came after Judge Victoria Rossetti denied a motion by Robert Ritacca, Vatamonivc’s lawyer, challenging the truthfullness of police officers who testified before the Lake County Grand Jury which indicted his client. He wanted those officers cross examined to determine their credibility.
“My belief is the police officers who testified before the grand jury weren’t 100 percent truthful,” Ritacca said. Rossetti told Ritacca to make the accusation in a motion. “This is a motion to bring the police officers before you,” he added.
The motion was immediately denied. “This is not a proper motion,” Rossetti said indicating the claim should be made during a trial itself. “If you bring a motion with a request for review of the grand jury (testimony) that is a different matter.” Ritacca said he would.
After Ritacca continued explaining to Rossetti why Vatamonivc’s situation should be dealt with some leniency, he complained he still did not have all the evidence the state’s attorney was required to give him and other items were incomplete.
Rossetti then asked Assistant Lake County State’s Attorney Reggie Mathews about specific pieces of evidence Ritacca was questioning. Mathews then claimed Ritacca was being uncooperative.
“For Mr. Ritacca to ask these particular questions (about hundreds of pieces of evidence collected in the case), I cannot answer,” Mathews said. “If he took time to talk me out of court (we could resolve this).”
At the end of the status hearing, Mathews told Rossetti he was going to ask her to delay the trial. Ritacca was unwilling to go along with the request. “We are 100 percent ready to proceed to trial,” Ritacca said. “We have a speedy trial demand.”
Vatamonivc is one of three men accused of first degree murder in the shooting death of Nutter June 3. Vatamonivc and Michael Coffee, 17, of Highland Park were in Nutter’ car with him when Benjamin Schenk, 20, of Highwood shot Nutter in the back of the head, according to statements made at a news conference June 7 in Highwood.
Rossetti will determine whether to allow a delay of the trial at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Waukegan.
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