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Judge: County can try boating fatal case

David Hatyina

David Hatyina

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Updated: January 20, 2013 1:16AM

A Kane County judge refused to stop the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office from prosecuting the Bartlett man accused of being drunk and high when he allegedly killed a 10-year-old Libertyville boy.

David Hatyina was before Kane County Associate Judge Clint Hull on Tuesday when his attorney Jack Donahue asked to disqualify the State’s Attorney’s Office from prosecuting his client and hand prosecution of the case to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

His request was based on the “possibility of the appearance of impropriety.”

Tony Borcia of Libertyville fell off an inner tube at Petite Lake in the Lake Villa area on July 28. Hatyina is alleged to have been under the influence of both cocaine and alcohol when he ran the boy over with his boat.

He has previously pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated driving under the influence and reckless homicide.

Donahue alleged the “appearance of impropriety” because Tony is the nephew of a Lake County associate judge and is related to a “very reputable and powerful law firm in Lake County,” according to the motion. The judge and law firm were not named in court documents or in court.

“Our position is if the court system ... needs an out-of-county judge, it’s the same rationale with the State’s Attorney,” Donahue said.

Because a Lake County judge is related to the victim, a Kane County judge was brought in to preside over the case to eliminate any appearance of impropriety, Assistant State’s Attorney Ari Fisz said.

“It has been four months since this has occurred. I would say the victim’s family trusts, and are comfortable, with us prosecuting the case. It would obviously take an emotional toll on the family (to assign new prosecutors),” Fisz said.

Hull said there was no evidence of any impropriety. There is no relationship between the State’s Attorney’s Office and the victim’s family, he said.

“The appearance (of impropriety) has been removed because an out-of-county judge was brought in,” Hull said.

A trial date for April 22, 2013, was set.

Hatyina is due back in court Dec. 20. He remains free from custody after 10 percent of $1 million bond was posted.

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