NAPERVILLE, Illinois (AP) – The attorney for a suburban Chicago woman accused of stabbing to death her young son and a girl she was babysitting asked the public not to rush to judgment after the woman’s arraignment hearing on Wednesday.
Elzbieta Plackowska pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in each child’s death. Prosecutors allege she stabbed her 7-year-old son more than 100 times because she was angry with her husband, and then stabbed the 5-year-old girl about 50 times because she was a witness.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that a psychiatrist has started a mental health evaluation of Plackowska in anticipation she may use an insanity defense. They said the process could take months.
Outside a DuPage Country courthouse after a brief hearing, public defender Michael Mara told reporters he will start building Plackowska’s defense after the prosecution turned over photographs and 40 CDs and DVDs from its investigation. The county’s top prosecutor, DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin, says the material includes Plackowska’s confession.
“What happened here is a tragedy but it’s important to remember not to rush to judgement,” Mara told reporters. “Now we can start our defense.”
Plackowska’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 4.
During the hearing, she stood silently in a blue jail uniform beside Mara. The hearing was broadcast live on websites as part of Illinois’ experiment with using cameras in courtrooms for the first time.
Plackowska has told investigators that the children had been jumping on the bed at the girl’s home in Naperville. She ordered them to pray, then stabbed them both dozens of times as they begged for their lives.
The 40-year-old Polish immigrant told investigators she killed her son, Justin, because she was upset with her husband, a truck driver who was often away from home. Prosecutors say she killed the girl, Olivia Dworakowski, because she had witnessed her son’s death.
Berlin says Plackowska had been babysitting for Dworakowski since the beginning of the school year, although Justin and Olivia went to different schools and it wasn’t clear how or when the two families met. Plackowska babysat Olivia numerous times as her mother works various shifts as a nurse, he said.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever