Engelica Castillo found guilty in the death of Jada Justice and sentenced to life in prison/ Timothy Tkachik found guilty, but sentencing delayed again as prosecutors investigate another possible suspect in Jada Justice killing

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Normal Engelica Castillo found guilty in the death of Jada Justice and sentenced to life in prison/ Timothy Tkachik found guilty, but sentencing delayed again as prosecutors investigate another possible suspect in Jada Justice killing

Post by artgal16 on Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:38 am

Guilty Verdict In Jada's Death Yesterday a Lake County, Indiana jury found Engelica Castillo, 20, guilty of murder, two counts of neglect of a dependent, battery and false informing for the 2009 death of two-year-old Jada Justice. Castillo, Jada's cousin, babysat the girl for two weeks in June of 2009 while Jada's mother was out of town. When Jada went missing, Castillo originally told police that she had left the girl in the car while running an errand and Jada was gone when she returned. But Castillo's then-boyfriend Timothy Tkachik admitted the girl's death to police and led them to Jada's body, burned and encased in concrete. From the Tribune:

Tkachik testified that Castillo became irritated at Jada for dumping a package of drink mix and spilling a container of syrup. Tkachik said an angry Castillo repeatedly struck the child, according to prosecutors.
He admitted to striking the girl several times on the head and holding the toddler down while Castillo repeatedly struck her with a belt, according to the prosecutor's office. Tkachik said Jada stopped breathing while in a vehicle with him and Castillo, and they failed to get medical help for the child.

Tkachik earlier pleaded guilty to neglect of a dependent and will be sentenced in September when he faces up to 50 years in prison. The jury that convicted Castillo will reconvene today to consider her sentence.

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Normal Re: Engelica Castillo found guilty in the death of Jada Justice and sentenced to life in prison/ Timothy Tkachik found guilty, but sentencing delayed again as prosecutors investigate another possible suspect in Jada Justice killing

Post by artgal16 on Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:42 am

Lake Superior Court jurors deliberated about two hours Thursday before convicting Engelica Castillo of murder, neglect of a dependent and battery in the beating death of 2-year-old Jada Justice of Portage.

Jurors who saw more than 300 exhibits and heard seven days of testimony were expected to return this morning to determine whether Castillo should spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole or a term of years.


Engelica Castillo was convicted of murder, neglect of a dependent and battery in the beating death of 2-year-old Jada Justice of Portage.

Jada Justice

In his closing argument, defense attorney Lemuel Stigler said Castillo, 20, never intended to harm her cousin's daughter. Stigler portrayed his client as someone controlled by her then-boyfriend, co-defendant Timothy Tkachik, 25, who was dealing drugs from his rental home at 3925 Missouri St., Hobart, and didn't want the girl staying with them.

During his closing argument, trial supervisor David Urbanski used Castillo's own words, secretly recorded at the Hobart Police Department lockup, in which Castillo told Tkachik to say it was an accident. "They can't prove we did that," Castillo said on the tape.

Urbanski pointed out instances where Castillo, not Tkachik, appeared to be in charge in their relationship. She gave Tkachik an ultimatum to get a job, had the girl stay with them despite Tkachik's desire to do something fun while he was laid off and led the way as they bought items to dispose of the girl's body, according to surveillance footage played for jurors.

Urbanski told jurors they should not return a verdict that Castillo merely participated in Jada's murder. "Engelica Castillo is a child murderer," he said.

Stigler urged jurors not to impose a harsher sentence for Castillo than the 20 to 50 years Tkachik faces under terms of his plea agreement. Tkachik, who pleaded guilty last month to two counts of neglect, admitted he "knuckled" Jada on the top of the head and held her down while Castillo beat her with a belt, but attributed most of the abuse that occurred over about five hours to Castillo.

Castillo and Tkachik were on their way to buy heroin in Chicago on June 13, 2009, when Tkachik discovered the child wasn't breathing. They returned home, switched cars and left her dead in the back seat while they completed the drug deal. Three days later, on June 16, 2009, after a failed attempt to incinerate the body during which Tkachik was burned on the face, neck and arms, they left the body of the child in a swamp.

Later that day, Castillo reported the girl had been abducted from a gas station at 1401 E. Ridge Road, Gary. She admitted on the witness stand she faked the abduction, but said Tkachik came up with the plan.

Testifying Wednesday and Thursday during the nine-day trial, Castillo also said Tkachik beat Jada and threw her into the bathtub twice, where she struck her head. Castillo said she played no role in efforts to dispose of the girl's body.

Tkachik eventually led FBI agents to a swamp in rural LaPorte County near his childhood home, where the girl's bruised body was found encased in cement and bound with rope.

On Thursday, as Urbanski was finishing his closing argument, Castillo was ejected after an outburst.

Urbanski reminded jurors that Castillo was agitated that police had stopped them on June 20, 2009, to serve a search warrant on Tkachik's vehicle and told Tkachik not to say anything.

"That's what my sister told me to say," Castillo said from the defense table.

"Be quiet," Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr., said.

"It's (expletive) lies. No, I don't have to be quiet," Castillo said as Stigler led her from the courtroom.

She later apologized to the judge.
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Normal Re: Engelica Castillo found guilty in the death of Jada Justice and sentenced to life in prison/ Timothy Tkachik found guilty, but sentencing delayed again as prosecutors investigate another possible suspect in Jada Justice killing

Post by artgal16 on Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:45 am

I dont think there is a death penalty there they are deliberating giving her life in prison - too bad no DP
she deserves it
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Normal Re: Engelica Castillo found guilty in the death of Jada Justice and sentenced to life in prison/ Timothy Tkachik found guilty, but sentencing delayed again as prosecutors investigate another possible suspect in Jada Justice killing

Post by Wrapitup on Sun Aug 15, 2010 2:56 pm

Thank God. That little girl was beaten and burned to death. crying

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Normal Re: Engelica Castillo found guilty in the death of Jada Justice and sentenced to life in prison/ Timothy Tkachik found guilty, but sentencing delayed again as prosecutors investigate another possible suspect in Jada Justice killing

Post by artgal16 on Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:12 pm

They left her dead body in the back seat of another car and went on with their drug deal. Are these human
beings?? I dont think so.
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Normal Castillo gets life in prison for killing Hobart toddler

Post by Nama on Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:08 pm

Lake Superior Court jurors issued a life-without-parole finding for Engelica Castillo, whom they convicted of murder in the beating death of 2-year-old Jada Justice.

Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr., who is bound by the jury finding, scheduled a Sept. 9 sentencing hearing for the 20-year-old Hobart woman, who was convicted Thursday of murder, two counts of neglect of a dependent, battery and false informing in the girl's June 13, 2009, death.

Convicted Thursday in the murder of Jada Justice, the jury in the trial of Engelica Castillo recommended that she be sentenced to life without parole.

Evidence at Engelica Castillo's 10-day trial showed she and co-defendant Timothy Tkachik beat Jada Justice, 2, and left her body in the back of Tkachik's Chevrolet Tahoe on June 13, 2009, while they traveled to Chicago to buy heroin. Three days later, after a failed attempt to burn the body that left Tkachik injured and a fake abduction report by Castillo, the two disposed of the body, which was bound with rope and encased in cement, in a rural LaPorte County swamp. Tkachik, 25, led FBI agents to Jada's body on June 25, 2009. His plea agreement calls for a sentence of 20 to 50 years in prison for two counts of neglect. Sentencing is Sept. 10.

Stefaniak instructed the jurors to weigh the state's aggravating circumstance -- the fact that Castillo killed the toddler, a child younger than 12 -- against mitigating circumstances, including Castillo's troubled childhood marked by physical and sexual abuse.

The jury deliberated about two hours before returning their finding.

The daylong hearing in the penalty phase of Castillo's 10-day jury trial included evidence that Castillo repeatedly ran away from home, including once to Florida for three weeks with a 21-year-old man when she was 14. Her mother, Rita Rincon, said she called authorities after her daughter began running away. Castillo spent time in residential centers and saw a therapist.

Castillo, 20, met co-defendant, Timothy Tkachik, 25, when she was 15 and he was 20. Tkachik testified he dealt heroin when he and Castillo were living at 3925 Missouri St., Hobart, where Jada was killed, and they used heroin regularly, including when Jada was staying with them.

Castillo and Tkachik had a stormy relationship in which both sustained injuries at the hands of the other, according to Erica Bonilla, a friend of Castillo. Castillo seemed to be getting her life back on track by not using drugs and attending Portage High School until she met Tkachik, Bonilla said.

Rincon said she was unaware until this year of the five-year age difference between her daughter and Tkachik.

Psychotherapist Jeanette Elliott, who treated Castillo between May 2001 and October 2004, said Castillo told her she was fondled when she was 9 years old and molested by a 16-year-old at age 10. Elliott said Castillo reported that her father, Patrick, beat her with a belt, which Rincon confirmed. Rincon said her former husband blamed their daughter for the sexual assault when she was 10. Castillo's father also took Engelica with him to buy crack cocaine, Rincon said.

Elliott said blaming the victim "usually turns around where the victim becomes the abuser."

Rincon told defense attorney Lemuel Stigler that Castillo aspired to become a pediatric nurse. Earlier testimony showed Castillo had a 10th-grade education.

Deputy prosecutor Aleksandra Dimitrijevic pressed Rincon about Castillo's childhood.

"The bottom line is you couldn't control her," Dimitrijevic said.

"I can't answer that. I love her," Rincon said.

At one time, Rincon said her daughter had been prescribed medication, which Castillo reported gave her suicidal thoughts after one day. Rincon said she didn't want her daughter taking the medication.

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Normal sentencing rescheduled to 10:30 a.m. Dec. 3.

Post by Nama on Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:15 am

Sentencing of Timothy Tkachik, former boyfriend of a Hobart woman sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Jada Justice, has been postponed.

No reason was given Friday for delaying the sentencing of Tkachik, 25, of Hobart, who pleaded guilty to two counts of neglect of a dependent in Jada's death.

Tkachik, who testified against co-defendant Engelica Castillo, faces a maximum 50-year prison sentence.

Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. rescheduled the sentencing to 10:30 a.m. Dec. 3.

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Normal Re: Engelica Castillo found guilty in the death of Jada Justice and sentenced to life in prison/ Timothy Tkachik found guilty, but sentencing delayed again as prosecutors investigate another possible suspect in Jada Justice killing

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:57 am

I wonder why. That's 2 months away. What the hell????

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Normal Re: Engelica Castillo found guilty in the death of Jada Justice and sentenced to life in prison/ Timothy Tkachik found guilty, but sentencing delayed again as prosecutors investigate another possible suspect in Jada Justice killing

Post by CritterFan1 on Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:09 pm

artgal16 wrote:They left her dead body in the back seat of another car and went on with their drug deal. Are these human
beings?? I dont think so.
You Go Girl you are right as rain on this, as always!
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Normal Tkachik sentencing delayed again as prosecutors investigate another possible suspect in Jada Justice killing

Post by Nama on Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:14 am

December 3, 2010
Sentencing for Timothy Tkachik, co-defendant in the 2009 slaying of Portage toddler Jada Justice, has been continued to Jan. 21 because prosecutors are looking at another possible suspect in the case.
Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter on Thursday confirmed Tkachik's hearing was continued again due to the ongoing investigation.
"There's another individual we're looking at," he said, again declining to identify the suspect.
Tkachik had been expected to be sentenced Friday.
He pleaded guilty in June to two counts of neglect of a dependent for his role in the child's death.
The two counts of neglect of a dependent are both Class A felonies, which carry sentences ranging from 20 to 50 years each, which would be served concurrently.
The plea agreement was taken under advisement by Lake Criminal Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr., who initially set sentencing for Sept. 10.
However, the day prior to Tkachik's scheduled sentencing, a jury imposed a sentence of life without parole on co-defendant Engelica Castillo.
Immediately following Castillo's sentencing, Carter disclosed his office is investigating potential charges against a "third party" he left unnamed. The next day, Tkachik's sentencing hearing was continued to Dec. 3.
Prosecutors had charged Tkachik, 25, and his girlfriend, 20-year-old Castillo, both of Hobart, with murder, two counts of neglect of a dependent, battery and false informing in June 2009 after the child's body was found burned and encased in concrete in a LaPorte County swamp.
In the plea bargain reached with prosecutors, Tkachik admitted to participating in beating the child, delivering several blows to the girl's head and holding the child down while Castillo repeatedly struck her with a belt.
He said the beatings began when the child irritated Castillo by, among other things, dumping a package of drink mix and spilling a container of syrup.
Tkachik later served as the chief witness in Castillo's trial.
Castillo was convicted on all counts in August and sentenced to life without parole in September.

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