Magistrate denies bail for 2 Indiana women in boy’s killing

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A magistrate has denied bail for two northwest Indiana women charged with murdering a 10-year-old boy whose body had so many injuries a prosecutor said he was the defendants’ “punching bag.”

A Lake Criminal Court magistrate rejected a petition Monday seeking bail for April L. Wright, 27, and her wife, Rachel R. Wright, 27, both of Merrillville.

The women told police that April Wright’s younger brother, Leviticus Kuchta, was injured in two dirt bike accidents in the days before Merrillville police found him dead in his bed in October 2020, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

Lake County Supervisory Deputy Prosecutor Michelle Jatkiewicz wrote in court filings that the women’s story was “pure fiction” and that the child “was repeatedly isolated and tortured” by the women, who had been entrusted with his care.

Both women have pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, aggravated battery, neglect of a dependent causing death and battery.

An autopsy found that Leviticus Kuchta died instantly from a dislocation of his cervical vertebrae caused by blunt force trauma.

But the boy had suffered injuries from head to toe in the days and weeks before his death, Jatikiewicz wrote in a court petition.

“He was the punching bag for his sister and her wife. They had complete access to Leviticus, who had not access to help,” she wrote. “The only way he would leave that house was in a body bag. And that is what ultimately happened.”

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