Court orders Christian Choate's body released to mother

2012-09-07T19:30:00Z 2013-02-19T13:05:30Z Court orders Christian Choate's body released to motherBy Susan Brown susan.brown@nwi.com (219) 662-5325 nwitimes.com
September 07, 2012 7:30 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | A Lake County court ordered the body of Christian Choate released to his biological mother Friday during a hearing in advance of his father's murder trial.

The 13-year-old boy's body was found in May 2011 in a shallow grave in a Black Oak mobile home park -- two years after officials say he died.

His father, Riley Choate, 40, faces a host of charges besides murder in connection with the boy's death. Christian's stepmother, Kimberly Kubina, 47, pleaded guilty in May to a neglect charge.

The plea deal calls for a prison sentence of 25 to 30 years when sentencing is argued following Choate's trial.

The boy's body has been in the possession of the Lake County coroner. On Friday, Lake Criminal Court Judge Diane Boswell ordered the body to be released to his mother, identified as Aimee Eriks in court records.

The boy's maternal grandfather, Bernard Eriks, had requested the boy's remains if Boswell ruled against his daughter.

In a letter to Boswell, Bernard Eriks said the boy held a special place in his and his wife's hearts due to their having raised the boy the first couple years of his life. 

Also Friday, Boswell set another pretrial hearing for Riley Choate — responding to another request by Choate for a change of attorney.

Choate is represented by Hammond attorney Randy Godshalk. Godshalk has made attempts to withdraw from the case because Choate has run out of money to pay him.

Godshalk proposed continuing to represent Choate for the reduced pay of a public defender, but Boswell turned down the offer, saying it would set a bad precedent.

Choate complained Friday about being kept in the dark on his case and asked for a public defender. Saying the trial was only a month away, Boswell denied the request but set another hearing on the matter for Sept. 21.

In other developments, court records state Boswell late last month denied a written request from Choate's girlfriend, Penny Murray, of Hammond, to marry Choate, who divorced Kubina since the couple's arrest last year.

"I have stood by his side proudly and will continue to do so," Murray wrote Boswell.

Murray's letter indicates an out-of-town relative of Choate would be available to stand in for Choate between Sept. 19 and Oct. 31. 

 

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



About Gary

City of Gary

City Hall Office of the Mayor
401 Broadway Gary, IN 46402
219.881.1302

Police Department

555 Polk St. Gary, IN 46402
219.881.1201
219.881.1214 Front Desk
219.881.1293 Fax

Fire Department

200 East 5th Avenue Gary, IN 46402
219.881.4779 - 24 Hour Business

Parks and Recreation

455 Massachusetts St. Gary, IN 46402
219.886.7099
219.881.0008 Fax

Gary Community School Corporation

620 East 10th Place Gary, IN 46402
219.881.5481

Featured Businesses