Campground death case in court
What began as a routine court hearing for Lisa Ann Platz and James Csucsai ended with the legal equivalent of a draw.
The pair appeared Thursday in El Dorado County Superior Court as part of a so-called identity hearing on kidnapping warrants from Pierce County, Wash. Rebbeca Aramburo, Platz’s daughter, was taken at gunpoint from a relative’s home in Washington and died Sept. 21 during a police standoff at Campground by the Lake.
Csucsai and Platz face murder charges in connection with the 9-year-old girl’s death. They also were named in the kidnapping warrants and a federal complaint for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
The goal of Thursday’s hearing was simple: Identify that the two suspects in custody are the same ones named in the kidnapping and fugitive warrants. That’s usually accomplished by sending certified copies of the warrants, along with photographs and physical descriptions.
But only part of the paperwork sent down from Washington was certified, and Csucsai’s warrant actually named Platz in an apparent clerical error. Judge Richard Haugner ended the hearing by ruling the district attorney’s office had failed to prove their identities.
From a legal standpoint, however, the ruling had little to no impact since the district attorney can file for a new identity hearing. Also, the kidnapping case in Washington likely won’t proceed until after the pair stand trial for murder. Further proceedings in that case are scheduled later this month.
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