Merrillville man charged in death of his mother released on bond
By Ruth Ann Krause Post-Tribune correspondent August 23, 2013 4:22PM
Updated: September 25, 2013 6:11AM
A former Calumet Township man charged in the death of his 94-year-old mother was ordered released from Lake County Jail on his previously posted bond after the judge found that the prosecutor had failed to prove he posed a danger to the community.
Lake Superior Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr. found the state had proven George Knezevic had posed a credible threat to others by a preponderance of the evidence. But the judge found that the state had not met its burden of proving the threat by the higher standard of clear and convincing evidence.
Knezevic, 62, of Merrillville, was ordered released on the $9,000 cash bond he posted “because I can’t speculate on what the defendant might do,” Stefaniak said.
About three weeks ago, deputy prosecutor Michelle Jatkiewicz argued that reports that were investigated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Chicago that Knezevic had been irate, abrasive and explosive with staff members at VA facilities pointed to the danger he posed to the community.
Knezevic had made reference that “something bad might happen” in Chicago if one of his medical records was not changed. In addition, he had sent hundreds of texts to a female employee of the local VA clinic after she had given him her cell phone number and met him for coffee, then decided not to pursue a relationship.
Knezevic, who has pleaded not guilty in the death of Ljubica Knezevic, 94, is scheduled for jury trial starting Oct. 7 on charges of murder, neglect, battery and pointing a firearm. One court-appointed mental health professional has found him competent to stand trial. Stefaniak is waiting on a second mental health evaluation.
Witnesses told police they saw Knezevic striking, choking and dragging the woman by her hair on Oct. 13, 2010, at the family home in the 4700 block of Buchanan Street in Calumet Townsihp. Ljubica Knezevic died three days later.