Judge Stands Firm at Granting Convicted Baby-Killer a New Trial
Prosecutors had asked a Will County judge to reverse her decision to give a convicted baby-killer a new murder trial but she stuck to her guns.
Prosecutors had asked Will County Judge Sarah Jones to reconsider her decision to grant 33-year-old Santos Loza a new murder trial but Jones stood firm.
Loza was found guilty in September of murdering 8-month-old Kevion Bender. It took the jury two hours to reach its decision.
Kevion suffered broken ribs, a fractured skull and numerous bruises before dying in October 2008. Loza was not charged with the murder until nearly two years later.
In ruling to give Loza a new trial, Judge Jones said she erred in limiting questions lawyers could ask Kevion's mother about her sexual relationship with Loza. Jones forbade defense lawyers from exploring the sexual history between the mother, Sandra Sitko, and Loza beyond February 2009.
Loza's lawyers were still able to establish that Sitko continued her sexual relationship with Loza after he allegedly killed her son, and Sitko even admitted on the witness stand that they carried on sexually for months following the baby's death. Sitko claimed she did so in an attempt to find out how Kevion met his end.
One of Loza's attorneys, Joseph "Shark" Lopez, mocked Sitko's explanation during the trial, saying, "I'm going to crack the case by having sex with Santos."
"Are you kidding me?" Lopez scoffed. "Really?"
Loza and Sitko met on the Internet less than three months before Kevion was killed. After the meeting, Sitko traveled from her home in West Chicago to where Loza was living in Joliet about three nights a week to have sex with him. She would bring along both Kevion and her older son, Dillion, on her trips to Loza's place.
Loza moved to Plainfield prior to his arrest.
Loza was alone with Kevion for the first time the night before the child died. He was babysitting Kevion so Sitko could work a shift at a McDonald's in West Chicago. Sitko discovered Kevion's lifeless body on the floor where he had been put to sleep.
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