Pre-trial set for man charged in beating death
By Jim Newton firstname.lastname@example.org August 26, 2013 7:28PM
Updated: September 29, 2013 6:14AM
A pre-trial date of Sept. 23 has been set for an Antioch Township man accused of murdering his live-in girlfriend, but defense attorneys are still waiting to review medical evidence that will be used in the trial.
Michael Axtell, 42, is charged with first-degree murder in the apparent beating death of Tammy Stone, 40, last October.
Defense attorney Katherine Hatch told Lake County Circuit Court Judge Victoria Rossetti during a status hearing Monday, Aug. 26, that she has had to seek a continuance because she has not received copies of CT scans, MRI and X-ray procedures conducted on Axtell following her injury and death the following day.
Assistant State’s Attorney Rod Drobinski said prosecutors have no problem with providing the information to the defense, but still have not received it from a pathologist on the case. Rossetti said she will issue a court order that the results be provided to the defense if necessary.
Stone was fatally injured after calling her 19-year-old daughter to tell her that Axtell had struck her in the eye at her home on Bond Avenue. The daughter arrived to find her mother with a swollen and black left eye.
According to Lake County Sheriff’s reports, the daughter and Axtell got into a physical altercation regarding the mother’s injuries and the daughter, who was not injured, began to leave through an attached garage area of the home expecting her mother to follow.
The daughter then heard a suspicious noise inside the home “like a bowling ball hitting the floor.” She and two friends who had accompanied her to the home went back inside and found Stone unconscious. Axtell left the residence on foot while 911 was called.
He was apprehended soon after and has remained in Lake County Jail in lieu of $3 million bond.
A tentative jury trial date of Oct. 7 has been set for Axtell.