A Will County judge cleared the way for prosecutors to play a 911 recording of a frantic mother accusing her boyfriend of killing her baby.
"You killed my baby!" Sandra Sitko screams on the October 2008 911 call.
Sitko's boyfriend, 33-year-old Santos Loza of Plainfield, was on the phone with a dispatcher when Sitko made the accusation.
Sitko found her 8-month-old baby boy, Kevion Bender, dead in their Joliet home about 4:30 a.m. on Oct. 26, 2008. Loza had babysat the child for seven hours before Sitko checked on her son about 11 the night before, prosecutor Chris Koch said during a Tuesday afternoon hearing in front of Will County Judge Sarah Jones. Sitko heard her son snoring while she stood in the doorway to his room but did not actually go to look at him, Koch said.
Sitko discovered the boy was not breathing less than six hours later.
Loza was not charged with the killing until August 2010. He has been locked up in the county jail in lieu of $3 million bond since. His trial was scheduled to start Monday.
Loza's lawyers argued that the recording should be kept out of the trial. Sitko "was very unclear (about) what she meant by that statement," said attorney Adam Altman.
"She could have meant any number of things by that," Altman said, adding that "Mr. Loza can't get a fair trial on the merits of this evidence."
During the hearing, Judge Jones distributed a gag order to the two prosecutors and three defense attorneys on the case. Also during the hearing, another one of Loza's Lawyers, Joseph "Shark" Lopez, said he planned to introduce evidence that Loza and Sitko carried on a sexual relationship for months after she accused him of killing her son. Lopez said prosecutors are trying to block that allegation.
"After the child is dead, the mother continues a relationship for three months," Lopez said. "That's the information that they're trying to exclude, that there was a sexual relationship and a pregnancy possibly occurred."