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Article updated: 11/2/2012 12:16 PM

Naperville mom charged in child slayings asks for new judge

By Josh Stockinger

Attorneys for a Naperville baby sitter accused in the horrific stabbing deaths of two children, including her 7-year-old son, petitioned Friday to have her case transferred to another judge.

Elzbieta Plackowska, 40, had appeared before DuPage County Judge John Kinsella at her initial court appearance Thursday. At her attorney's request Friday, the case was reassigned to Judge Robert Kleeman.

Assistant Public Defender Mike Mara, who represents Plackowska, declined to comment on the request. The defense, which had the option of striking two judges from consideration, asked that the case go to any judge except Kinsella and Judge George Bakalis. Kleeman was tapped by Judge Kathryn Creswell and will preside over the defendant's Nov. 21 arraignment.

Bakalis presided over the murder trial of Marilyn Lemak, who murdered her three children in Naperville 1999. She attempted an insanity defense, but was found guilty of the crime and is serving a life sentence.

Kleeman also signed an order for authorities to turn over a Mazda CX-7 to Plackowska's husband as soon as it's been processed for evidence. The husband owns the vehicle, where prosecutors said they found one of two blood-soaked knives after the murders.

"Police are processing the car and should be done with it today," State's Attorney Bob Berlin told Kleeman.

Plackowska's attorney also raised the issue of a potential language barrier, requesting an interpreter for her arraignment. Mara said Plackowska speaks English but is "more comfortable with Polish."

Plackowska faces two counts of first-degree murder in the Tuesday slayings of both her 7-year-old son Justin and kindergartner Olivia Dworakowski, 5. Prosecutors said she was watching the children at Olivia's home on Quin Court in Naperville while the 5-year-old's mother was at work.

Plackowska made both children get on their knees and pray before she stabbed them and slashed their throats as they begged for their lives, prosecutors said. Justin was stabbed close to 100 times, prosecutors said, while Olivia was stabbed about 50 times.

Plackowska offered varying motives for the attack -- including that the children were possessed by the devil -- but ultimately confessed she killed Justin to "make her husband hurt the way she hurt in their relationship," authorities said. She said she killed Olivia because the girl was a witness, according to prosecutors.

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