DCS withdraws motion in Choate case

2011-06-20T19:45:00Z 2011-06-20T22:08:06Z DCS withdraws motion in Choate caseBy Susan Brown susan.brown@nwi.com, (219) 662-5325 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | The Indiana Department of Child Services will not ask the court to void the prosecution's request for records related to Christian Choate.

The 13-year-old is believed to have been killed in April 2009 after several years of abuse, which included beatings and being kept in a cage.

A body believed to be Christian's was found last month buried in a shallow grave in a Black Oak mobile home park. Results from DNA tests are pending.

The boy's father, Riley Choate, 39, and stepmother, Kimberly Kubina Choate, 45, face 13 criminal charges in the case, including murder.

Prosecutors sought to obtain Child Protection Services records on Christian and his sister, Christina Choate, now 17, as well as two nieces of Kubina Choate.

DCS attorneys earlier had filed a motion to quash the prosecutors' subpoena, which typically results in the court deciding what records to make public.

But on Monday, DCS announced it is withdrawing its motion.

"We have tendered to the criminal court the same report we have tendered to the juvenile court," said Ann Houseworth, DCS communications director.

Houseworth declined further comment.

Also Monday, Hammond attorney Scott Yahne filed a motion in which he, too, sought to quash the prosecutor's subpoena for records related to his service as guardian ad litem.

Yahne is seeking the court's guidance in determining the confidentiality of the records to which he has access.

Yahne initially was appointed to represent Christian and Christina Choate in a 2004 custody battle between Riley Choate and Aimee Estrada, the siblings' mother.

Yahne recently was reappointed to represent Christina Choate in proceedings before juvenile court.

In the motion before the criminal court, Yahne argues case law recognizes this "territory is fraught with converging, sometimes conflicting, concerns."

While communication with a guardian ad litem is nonprivileged, much of the information to which theĀ guardian has access is subject to privilege, Yahne argues.

Privilege may be waived by an adult, but in this case the parent has been charged with a crime and possibly could have interests adverse to the child, he argues.

In addition, within his files is sensitive and personal information with the potential of having an adverse effect on Christina ChoateĀ and third parties, as well the memory of Christian, he states.

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