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Defense Wants Charges Dropped

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A judge in Lake County is being asked by the defense to dismiss charges against the mother of a two-year-old Portage girl whose body was found in concrete in a swampy area of LaPorte County four years ago. Trial is scheduled to begin Monday for Melissa Swiontek, who's been charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent. Published reports say the case revolves around whether the woman knowingly placed Jada Justice in a dangerous situation leaving the girl in the care of her cousin and her cousin's boyfriend with knowledge the couple used and dealt drugs. Engelica Castillo was found guilty of murder and Timothy Tkachik pleaded guilty to neglect in the child's death.  A ruling from Lake Criminal Court Judge Thomas Stefaniak Jr is expected by this afternoon.
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