Federal investigation delays prosecution of Plainfield Township stabbing case

A federal investigation into the killing of a Plainfield Township Muslim boy is causing delays in the Will County case against the man charged with the boy’s slaying.

Joseph Czuba, 72, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated battery and two counts of hate crimes for the Oct. 14 stabbing.

Authorities said he stabbed 6-year-old Wadee Alfayoumi 26 times with a military-style knife. The boy’s mother, Hanaan Shaheen, also was stabbed in the attack that prosecutors said was fueled by Czuba’s anger over the Hamas-Israel conflict.

Prosecutors Thursday said federal authorities are continuing their investigation into the attack and that the U.S. attorney’s office has not yet made a charging decision. Prosecutors said they did not have a timeline on when that decision could be expected.

Defense attorney George Lenard said he cannot move forward with the case until federal authorities turn over discovery or evidence from their investigation.

The Oct. 14 stabbing drew national attention, and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland launched an investigation shortly after the attack. U.S. President Joe Biden also issued a statement rejecting hate and Islamophobia after the stabbing.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a federal investigation shortly after the attack. U.S. President Joe Biden also issued a statement.

“This horrific act of hate has no place in America, and stands against our fundamental values: freedom from fear for how we pray, what we believe, and who we are,” Biden said in his statement last fall.

Will County Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak scheduled another status hearing for May 15.

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