By Diane Madigan
Independent Court Reporter
Angelina Perry, 39, and Ray Hunt, 34, failed to show up for their court date last Thursday at Third Circuit Court in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.
They were due for a Final Pre-trial Conference on a charge of Involuntary Manslaughter in connection with the Aug. 20 drowning death of their 11-month-old son, Oliver Perry in a backyard swimming pool in Sumpter Township.
After several minutes of discussion between Hunt’s attorney Brian Gagniuk, Perry’s attorney Douglas Nortley and prosecutor Carin Goldfarb, the presiding judge Dana M. Hathaway was summoned to the court room to hear the explanations of why neither defendant was present.
Gagniuk began, stating that his client Ray Hunt had phoned him earlier to say he was in the hospital and would not be able to be in court. He added that Hunt had been very distraught recently and the whole situation has been very hard on him.
Judge Hathaway asked Prosecutor Goldfarb for her opinion. Goldfarb stated that she tended to believe Hunt was in the hospital but he would need to provide evidence of that to the court at his next appearance.
Nortley then told the court he had no contact with Perry, and did not know why she was not in court as scheduled.
Goldfarb stated that she would yield to the discretion of the court regarding what would be done with respect to Perry’s failure to appear.
Judge Hathaway said she would issue a capias warrant for Perry.
On March 25 the prosecutor filed a notice of intent to use other act evidence in this case. As reported by the Independent, both plead guilty to shoplifting charges at the Van Buren Township Meijer store when Oliver was with them and they put items into his stroller to take from the store.
A follow-up Final Conference date was set for Friday, April 12, at which both defendants will be required to be present.
A trial date of June 20 was also set by the court. Both attorneys and Prosecutor Goldfarb indicated that there is a plea offer on the table that could resolve the case without going to trial, but no details were given.
By Diane Madigan