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Chastinea Reeves

CROWN POINT — A bond hearing for the 16-year-old girl charged in her mother's murder was delayed Tuesday.

John Cantrell, an attorney for Chastinea Reeves, said at a court hearing in Lake Criminal Court he wanted a new hearing to address questions about whether detectives lawfully interrogated the girl about her mother's murder. 

Cantrell said prosecutors would likely present the statements as evidence at the bond hearing, so the court would need to determine before then whether allegedly incriminating statements made by the teenager were admissible. 

The defense attorney said he would file this week a motion to suppress, which would be addressed at a new court hearing scheduled Nov. 9.

The bond hearing was rescheduled to Nov. 14. 

The teenager's mother, Jamie M. Garnett, was found by police dead of stab wounds Feb. 13 in the upstairs bedroom of her residence in the 4400 block of West 23rd Place in Gary.

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The murder sparked an intense police search for Reeves, then a 15-year-old student at Gary Lighthouse Charter School, who was located the next afternoon in Gary.

The girl was charged that week in the juvenile court with murder on allegations she stabbed Garnett, 34, to death.

Geoffrey Giorgi, another defense attorney, previously raised the question in juvenile court whether detectives obtained proper parental permission to interrogate the girl about Garnett's murder, as required for juvenile offenders.

The issue was not resolved by a judge, but instead the state agreed it would not admit the statements as evidence during a probable cause hearing June 13.

Juvenile Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. found there was sufficient evidence at the hearing to charge the teenager with murder, though he noted the case presented was “extremely weak.”

The teenager was charged as an adult July 18.

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.