Suspects in Jada Justice case plead not guilty

June 29, 2009 2:19:01 PM PDT
Not guilty pleas have been entered for the two people charged with killing little Jada Justice. Jada's babysitter and her boyfriend made their first court appearance Monday morning. "As long as they got them behind bars. Don't nobody have to worry about them harming somebody else, especially kids," said Clarence Justice, Jada's father.

Justice's little daughter's body was found last week, buried in a field, after an intense search had been going on for her for several days.

Appearing in dark blue jail uniforms Monday morning, Engelica Castillo and her boyfriend, Tim Tkachik, were brought into a Crown Point, Indiana courtroom. not guilty pleas were entered for both of them.

Investigators have said Tkachik's story did not match that of Castillo, who had told police someone kidnapped the toddler after she had stopped at a gas station. Tkachik reportedly finally confessed, telling authorities Castillo beat Jada after a potty training accident and that he helped dispose of the body.

Castillo had a private attorney but Monday morning was instead represented by a public defender.

"It's not me," said T. Edward Paige, Castillo's former attorney. "It's more that there's going to need to be depositions and it's going to need to be many other things that can best be provided by a governmental agency to help her see that she gets that fair trial."

If convicted, Castillo and Tkachik could face between 45 and 65 years in prison. Both will appear in court next week for formal hearings.


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