Prosecutors get more time to prepare case against Palatine man

Updated 6/10/2014 5:22 PM

The prosecutors aiming to put James P. Eaton, the man accused of killing a 14-year-old Palatine girl in 1997, behind bars were granted more time to prepare their evidence at a court hearing in Wisconsin Tuesday morning.

Racine County District Attorney Richard Chiapete said at the hearing that so far sheriff's investigators had turned over one large binder of evidence to prosecutors and that the amount of materials in the case is "voluminous."

Lt. Steve Sikora, the Racine County sheriff's public information officer, declined to guess how long investigators will need to prepare the 17 years worth of investigation documents.

Sikora said the amount of preparation time needed for the trial was typical for a case of this seriousness.

Eaton, who lived in Palatine before being arrested in early April and is being held in lieu of $500,000 bond, appeared at the hearing.

He is accused of killing Amber Creek, whose body was discovered in a wildlife refuge in Burlington, Wisconsin, about two weeks after she ran away from a juvenile home in Chicago.

She'd been sexually assaulted and suffocated and was left partially clothed with a plastic garbage bag over her head, according to court documents.

Authorities say Eaton's DNA matched saliva and semen samples taken from Amber's body, and his fingerprints were found on the garbage bag.

Judge Timothy Boyle set the next status hearing for Aug. 11.

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