Step-mom asking to have half the charges dismissed in 2011 murder case
DIXON – The woman accused of injuring her 7-year-old stepson in 2010, causing his death nearly a year later, is asking a judge to drop three of the six charges against her.
A hearing on Tiffany D. Fassler’s motion to dismiss is set for Dec. 20.
Fassler, 41, is accused of kicking Colton Fassler, then 6, on Dec. 30, 2010, causing him to hit his head on a bathroom vanity and resulting in severe brain damage that prosecutors say led to his death 11 months later. ?
Fassler, free on $200,000 bond, was indicted Feb. 8, 2013, on two counts of first-degree murder and four counts of aggravated battery of a child. She is represented by Lee County Public Defender Bob Thompson and appointed Dixon attorney Paul Whitcombe, and her trial date is June 4.
In his motion, Thompson is asking Judge Jacquelyn Ackert to dismiss three of the four aggravated battery charges, saying that the language in the charging document is too vague to sustain the charges.
The law requires a formal charge set forth with specificity as to the “nature and elements of the offenses charged.”
That kind of detail is needed to ensure the accused has enough information to prepare a proper defense, courts have ruled.
Three of the four aggravated battery charges accuse Fassler of causing “great bodily harm” without specifying what that harm was, which is why they should be dismissed, Thompson wrote in his motion.
Lee County State’s Attorney Matt Klahn has not yet filed a response to the defense motion.
Fassler was indicted on two counts of aggravated battery in July 2011, 7 months after the boy was injured. He died 4 months later, on Nov. 10.
In August 2012, a Winnebago County coroner’s jury ruled his death a homicide, prosecutors added the murder charge that Sept. 13, then took the matter to a grand jury, which issued a five-count indictment a week later.
An amended bill of indictment was filed on Feb. 8, 2013, adding the second murder charge.
The complicated medical issues involved have been cited as among the reasons the case has taken so long to resolve.