Motion denied for woman accused in Lincolnshire day care death

A Lake County judge on Friday said a woman accused of killing an 18-month-old boy in a Lincolnshire day care center voluntarily agreed to the interview session with police that officials say led to her confession.

Associate Judge Christopher Stride denied a motion by Melissa Calusinski’s lawyers charging that their client was improperly questioned and illegally detained by police two days after the death of Benjamin Kingan.

Benjamin died Jan. 14, 2009 from a skull fracture police say he suffered when he was thrown to the floor at the former Mini Subee in the Park day care center.

Officials say Calusinski, 24, a teacher’s assistant at the center, was the only adult in the room with Benjamin when he suffered his injuries.

She accompanied Lake County Major Crimes Task Force detectives from Mini Subee to the Lake Zurich police station where she was questioned for approximately nine hours.

On a videotape of the questioning shown in Stride’s courtroom, Calusinski eventually admits throwing Benjamin to the floor when she became upset with other children in the room.

Calusinski’s lawyers argued in their motion, which was heard periodically across the past seven months, that police had taken their client into custody without probable cause to do so.

But Stride ruled Friday that there was no evidence police did anything to convince Calusinski she was under arrest and had to answer their questions.

Calusinski testified at one hearing that she did not believe she was free to stop the interview at any time and leave and that police never told her she was allowed to make a telephone call.

Stride said Friday he found the testimony of Calusinski and her sister Crystal Calusinski, who also worked at the center, was “less than credible.”

Calusinski, of Carpentersville, is scheduled to appear in court again April 1 and faces up to life in prison if convicted.