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Wait for DNA evidence stalls Fassler murder case

Steward man charged with home invasion pleads not guilty

Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, May 17, 2013 2:03 p.m. CDT

DIXON – A defense attorney in a Lee County murder case is waiting for DNA evidence results from the state laboratory, and so asked Wednesday for a hearing to be continued.

The status hearing for Tiffany D. Fassler was moved to July 24.

Fassler, 37, of Dixon, is charged with first-degree murder and four counts of aggravated battery of a child. Police say she kicked her 6-year-old stepson in the chest on Dec. 30, 2010. He hit his head on a bathroom vanity, suffering serious brain damage, and died Nov. 10, 2011.

Also in Lee County Court Wednesday:

– A Steward man accused of home invasion and six other charges pleaded not guilty in both cases against him. 

Police say Jacob John Gomez, 25, twice broke into his ex-girlfriend’s house, once beating her up. He is also charged with domestic battery with a prior offense; violation of an order of protection; and misdemeanor interfering with reporting domestic violence; and burglary; criminal damage to property; and misdemeanor criminal trespass to a residence.

Police say he broke into the 23-year-old woman’s house in Steward Jan. 1 and punched her multiple times, then went back to the house March 17 and broke a computer and punched a hole in a wall.

His next hearing is June 6.

– Jenetta J. Welty, 34, of Dixon, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana with the intent to deliver, and possession of 10 to 30 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police say they found drug paraphernalia, prescription pills, a half-ounce of marijuana and an unspecified amount of cash in her home on April 13.

Her next hearing is June 6.

– A hearing for Ted N. Valdes was moved to May 29.

Valdes, 36, of Dixon, is charged with delivery of a controlled substance, delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a senior citizen center, delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a church, and possession of a controlled substance.

Police say he sold less than a gram of heroin, worth about $100, to an informant in April.

– A hearing for Susan E. Emmole was reset for May 29.

Emmole, 44, of Dixon, is charged with residential burglary. Police say she stole cash, coins, and watches from a home on the northeast side of Dixon on Aug. 9.

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