Next motion in Lincolnshire day care case attacks confession

Having failed to convince a judge that their client was taken into police custody illegally, attorneys for the woman accused of killing a toddler at a Lincolnshire day care center now plan to challenge her confession.

Melissa Calusinski, 24, of Carpentersville, faces up to life in prison if convicted of the Jan. 14, 2009 death of 18-month-old Benjamin Kingan of Deerfield.

Calusinski was a teacher’s aide at the former Mini Subee in the Park day care center and is shown on videotape telling police she threw Benjamin to the ground when she became upset with other children in her care.

But her attorneys say in a motion filed Friday in Lake County circuit court that Calusinski’s confession was coerced by detectives of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force.

Calusinski was questioned for more than 10 hours during two days after Benjamin’s death. A Lake County judge ruled last week she was not illegally placed under arrest before police began to question her.

The confession should not be used against Calusinski at her trial, defense attorney Paul DeLuca said Friday, because she did not fully understand she was not required to talk to the police.

In addition, according to the motion, DeLuca claims detectives took advantage of his client during the interrogation.

“The defendant, 22 years old without prior police conduct with a low IQ and very suggestible to adult authority, was easily convinced after several hours of interrogation to repeat to detectives what they wanted to hear,” the motion states.

Assistant State’s Attorney Christen Bishop declined to comment on the motion before a full hearing on its allegations in court.

Circuit Judge Daniel Shanes said he would set a date for arguments on the motion on April 15.

Calusinski is held on $5 million bond.