More Details Emerge as Arraignment Set for Elmhurst Mother Accused of Attempted Murder
The accused, Cheryl Luchetta, also was in court on Monday for another divorce hearing.
An Elmhurst woman who allegedly attempted to poison her 7-year-old son made a brief appearance in a DuPage County courtroom Tuesday morning.
Cheryl Luchetta, 41, appeared before Judge Dan Guerin to set a time for her arraignment. Luchetta was arrested June 8 and charged with attempted murder and one count of aggravated battery to a child.
During her few moments before the judge, a handcuffed Luchetta remained silent. Throughout the proceeding, Luchetta’s head was mostly bowed, with her long hair hiding her face. But periodically she looked up and made quick, nervous glances around the room while attorneys discussed evidentiary disclosure and a possible psychological evaluation.
The prosecution is calling for a mental evaluation, but Luchetta’s attorney, J. Kyle Rubek, a DuPage County senior assistant public defender, said that was premature.
Rubek said the state’s attorney wants a psychological examination in case the defense argues insanity. Rubek said he just received the prosecution’s discovery, so it is premature to determine what kind of defense will be mounted against the pending charges.
A $300,000 bail was set by Judge Michael Wolfe; Luchetta remains in custody at DuPage County Jail.
Luchetta’s next court appearance will be July 18, when she is scheduled to be formally arraigned, Rubeck said.
On the evening of June 8, Luchetta allegedly gave her son a mixture of valium, diazepam and Tylenol PM. Luchetta also took a concoction of pills and then allegedly cut her own throat and passed out. The following morning, Luchetta woke up, allegedly found her son unresponsive and called 911. She told an emergency dispatcher that she and her son were victims of a home invasion by a suspect who forced the boy to take the medication, prosecutors said.
Luchetta was hospitalized following the incident and was not charged until her condition improved and she was released from the hospital.
Luchetta’s son was hospitalized for a short time and is now living with his father, Cheryl's husband, Matthew Luchetta. The two are in the process of a divorce.
The Luchettas' divorce case returned to court on Monday with a new attorney representing Cheryl. The divorce proceedings have been going on for a year and were scheduled for a trial in June, but the attempted murder charges derailed those procedings.
In court documents, Matthew Luchetta argued against his wife's recent attempt to delay a scheduled August trial date as she sought a new attorney. He called it a stall tactic.
Matthew also claimed that about a week before the scheduled June trial, Cheryl called and "begged him not to go through with the divorce and to 'take her back,' " documents show.
After that didn't work, she "took more drastic measures in her attempt to derail the impending divorce; in the process, she injured herself and (allegedly) the parties' minor child," the records show. "It appears that (Cheryl Luchetta) ... is willing to take drastic action and commit heinous acts" to stop the divorce.
The divorce case is scheduled for another hearing on July 18.
The couple was married in January 2000, and they had a son in November 2003. But, according to Matthew's divorce filings, the couple has lived apart since 2004. He accused Cheryl of abandoning the marriage.
The June 8 incident was not Luchetta’s first run-in with authorities. Between 2006 and 2007, she faced three charges of domestic battery involving a man court records identify as her boyfriend. Police accused her of cutting, biting and scratching the man in those incidents.
In 2007 Luchetta also faced a disorderly conduct charge relating to a 911 call, when she reportedly claimed her boyfriend was attempting suicide.