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updated: 9/30/2011 6:07 PM

Vernon Hills man claims cremation of murdered wife destroys defense

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  • Vernon Hills police have charged 47-year-old Vernon Hills man Ronald Stolberg with murder after allegedly killing his wife after a fight in their home Wednesday evening.

      Vernon Hills police have charged 47-year-old Vernon Hills man Ronald Stolberg with murder after allegedly killing his wife after a fight in their home Wednesday evening.

 
 

Lawyers for a Vernon Hills man accused of killing his wife filed a motion Friday claiming the charges against their client should be dismissed because the victim's body was cremated without their knowledge.

Ronald Stolberg, 47, is charged with first-degree murder for the June 8 suffocation death of his wife, Rachel Stolberg, 54.

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Police said Stolberg told them he pushed his wife to the ground as the argued, then held her facedown on the floor by pushing his knee into her back.

Attorneys William Hedrick and Kevin Rosner claim in a motion that Rachel Stolberg's body was taken to the Lake County coroner's office on the day of her death and an autopsy was performed.

On June 13, the motion says, the body of Rachel Stolberg was released to a funeral home with directions that a cremation take place the following day.

Hedrick and Rosner, who filed as Stolberg's attorneys on June 10, claim in their motion the destruction of Rachel Stolberg's body "caused substantial prejudice" to their ability to defend their client.

The lawyers claim her body "contained relevant investigative material" and they should have been given the opportunity to conduct their own forensic examination before cremation.

In other motions filed Friday, Hedrick and Rosner argue Stolberg's arrest and any statements he made to police should be thrown out because police violated his Constitutional rights.

Assistant State's Attorney Ari Fisz declined to comment on the specifics of any of the motions other than to say he would oppose them in court.

Foreman scheduled a hearing of the motions for Nov. 16.

Stolberg, who faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted, was freed from custody when he posted $300,000 for bond.

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