Saturday, February 13, 2010
In a not so surprising move, Cesar Laurean has filed a motion asking for a postponement of the wrongful death suit filed by Maria Lauterbach's family.
If the civil trial occurred before the criminal trial, Laurean's right to remain silent would be jeopardized and he potentially would be forced to expose defense witnesses to depositions, reveal defense theories which could result in “substantial pre-trial publicity that would taint the jury in the criminal case and deprive me of a fair trial and due process.”
Laurean has been indicted for the December 14, 2007 bludgeoning death of Maria Lauterbach. Onslow County authorities claim Laurean killed Lauterbach with a crowbar and Maria and her near full-term child were then buried under a firepit in Laurean's backyard. Laurean fled to Mexico and eluded authorities for 3 months.
Lauterbach had accused Laurean of rape, however DNA tests have since shown that he was not the father of her child.
The suit is also filed against Laurean's wife, Christina. According to the suit, Christina found Lauterbach's wallet in her house and, "knew or should have known the wallet contained Lauterbach's driver's license." The suit claims Christina not only knew about the crime, but also helped build the firepit and aided Laurean while he was on the run.
Laurean's motion for postponement states that he had no knowledge that Christina ever had Maria Lauterbach's wallet and he states that Christina never helped him after he fled.
Authorities have always stated that Christina was cooperating in hunt for Laurean and was not considered a suspect.
Laurean filed an answer to the December wrongful death suit saying, “Defendant is not liable to the Plaintiff in this action because he did not cause, directly or indirectly, the death of Maria Frances Lauterbach, and did not conceal, or conspire to conceal, evidence concerning her death.”
Laurean's criminal trial is scheduled to begin June 28. He will not face the death penalty due to an extradition treaty with Mexico.