Gag order placed on state officials in Choate case
By Chelsea Schneider Kirk email@example.com June 30, 2011 6:06PM
Updated: October 30, 2011 1:01AM
A Lake Superior Court judge granted a gag order Thursday in the Christian Choate case.
Indiana Department of Child Services planned to hold a press conference on the case at the Lake County Government Center when the state officials were ushered into a courtroom, according to DCS Director James Payne.
“After a short hearing, the judge granted that, and we were unable to conduct the prearranged press availability,” Payne said.
As Payne understood the situation, the hearing involved a motion by the prosecutor for a gag order against all the parties in the case. Payne didn’t have a copy of the gag order but expected it barred speaking about anything involved in the case.
A call into Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter wasn’t immediately returned on Thursday evening.
Christian Choate’s father, Riley Choate, 39, and stepmother, Kimberly Kubina, 45, of Hammond, have pleaded not guilty to murder, battery, neglect of a dependent, confinement, obstruction of justice, moving a body from a death scene and failure to notify authorities of a dead body.
Christian Choate died of blunt force trauma, the Lake County coroner’s office determined. The 13-year-old’s body was recovered from a shallow grave in Gary’s Black Oak neighborhood.
Post-Tribune reporter Christin Nance Lazerus and correspondent Ruth Ann Krause contributed to this article.