Plainfield Hate Crime Slaying: Lawyer Wants Jailhouse Recordings

PLAINFIELD, IL — The attorneys defending Joseph Czuba, the Plainfield Township man charged in the murder of 6-year-old Wadee Alfayoumi and stabbing his mother, Hanan Shaheen, want the recordings of the 71-year-old’s jail conversations.

The landlord, who rented two rooms in his Plainfield Township home to 32-year-old Shaheen and her son, has had conversations with visitors, other inmates, correctional officers and “another individual who may or may not be an inmate, but an individual purporting to be an inmate,” according to a motion for additional discovery filed Monday by longtime downtown Joliet criminal defense attorney George Lenard, who is serving as Czuba’s public defender along with Kylie Blatti.

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“It is a known fact all conversations between Joseph Czuba and his visitors” are being recorded by Will County jail staff, according to the motion.

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Lenard requested the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office produce “any and all recordings of statements made” as they are relevant to preparing Czuba’s defense. He also wrote the evidence is “a key component included in his due process and other constitutional rights.”

The document also cites President Joe Biden’s statement to the country mentioning Wadee’s death, as well as the fact the Justice Department opened a federal hate crimes investigation into the Oct. 14 stabbings.

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The motion was filed just as Czuba learned his wife, Mary, filed for divorce against him, Patch reported. Mary retained downtown Joliet law firm DeVriendt & Associates to bring the petition forward against Czuba, who remains detained at the Will County Adult Detention Facility while he awaits trial.

At Czuba’s Oct. 30 court appearance, Lenard and Blatti entered not-guilty pleas to all eight felony charges against the man, who turns 72 on Wednesday. A grand jury indicted him of three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of aggravated battery and two counts of hate crime.

Will County prosecutors said Czuba’s attack was motivated by the family’s Muslim faith as a result of his grievances with the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.


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