December 4, 2023

By Sophia Tareen | Related Press

JOLIET, In poor health. — A person accused of homicide, tried homicide and a hate crime in an assault on a Palestinian American girl and her younger son pleaded not responsible Monday following his indictment by an Illinois grand jury.

Joseph Czuba, 71, is charged within the deadly stabbing of six-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume and the wounding of Hanaan Shahin on Oct. 14. Authorities stated the victims had been focused due to their Muslim religion and as a response to the warfare between Israel and Hamas.

Shahin instructed police that Czuba, her landlord in Plainfield in Will County, was upset over the warfare and attacked them after she had urged him to “pray for peace.”

Czuba appeared in courtroom Monday carrying a crimson jail uniform, socks and yellow rubber slippers.

His legal professional George Lenard entered the not responsible plea after the choose learn the 8-count indictment. Czuba didn’t communicate, trying down on the podium together with his fingers folded behind his again as he stood earlier than the choose within the courtroom in Joliet, 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

Shahin, 32, is recovering from a number of stab wounds. A whole bunch of individuals attended her son’s funeral on Oct. 16 the place he was remembered as an brisk boy who beloved taking part in video games. He had not too long ago had a birthday.

The boy’s father and different members of the family attended the listening to. They declined to talk to reporters.

The homicide cost within the indictment towards Czuba describes the boy’s dying as the results of “exceptionally brutal or heinous habits.” The assault on the household — which renewed anti-Islamic fears within the Chicago space’s giant and established Palestinian group — has drawn condemnation from the White Home.

Choose David Carlson dominated that Czuba will remained detained as he awaits a Jan. 8 courtroom listening to.

In arguing to maintain Czuba detained, Will County Assistant State’s Lawyer Michael Fitzgerald stated Czuba was a hazard to Shahin and others.

“We additionally imagine he’s a risk to the security of the group,” he stated.

Czuba’s attorneys disagreed, citing Czuba’s age and the truth that he’s a veteran with none legal convictions.

Lenard and Fitzgerald declined to remark to reporters after the listening to.

Shahin requested the general public to “pray for peace” and stated her son was her finest pal in a press release issued final week by way of the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The assault comes amid rising hostility towards Muslim and Jewish communities within the U.S. since Hamas attacked Israel.