Chicago Tribune

MOM ACCUSED OF TRYING TO KILL DAUGHTER

JUDGE DECLINES TO REDUCE BOND IN ALLEGED POISONING

By Jeff Coen Tribune Staff Writer April 11, 2000
Chicago Tribune

A Naperville mother accused of trying to kill her daughter by poisoning her with sleeping pills disguised as candy remained in jail Monday after a DuPage judge denied a request from the woman's attorneys to lower her bond.

Lawyers for Chun Anderson had asked Judge Michael Burke to reduce the woman's bond from $500,000 to $100,000. The judge denied the motion Monday, saying nothing in the case had changed to warrant such a move in the months since the bond was set.

Burke said he considered the age of the alleged victim, Anderson's 10-year-old daughter, and the allegation that Anderson contemplated causing serious harm to the girl. Anderson, 36, is charged with attempted murder.

Before making his ruling, Burke recognized that two Korean-American groups have stepped forward to assist in Anderson's defense. Korean-American Women in Need and the Korean-American Community Service Council have hired attorneys for Anderson and raised $10,000 in the hope of posting 10 percent of her lowered bond and freeing her from jail.

Burke said he was simply seeking to maintain Anderson's bond at a reasonable level in such a case.

"It is not this court's intention to punish this defendant before trial," Burke said.

Before Monday's hearing, representatives of the groups who have visited Anderson recently said jail life has been difficult on her.

The organizations had found a place for Anderson to stay and had lined up employment for her, hoping the judge would lower her bond.

"She knows we support her," said Kyungnan Yu of the women's group. "That gives her strength."

The several Anderson supporters who gathered in the courtroom declined to comment after the judge's decision.

Authorities have said Anderson was battling depression over a failed marriage when she allegedly gave her daughter 30 sleeping pills July 1 after mixing the medication with chocolate syrup. Anderson then attempted to take her own life with a dose of as many as 200 pills, authorities have said.

The pair was discovered the next morning when Anderson's estranged husband went to the couple's home in the 1700 block of Downing Court.

Chun Anderson's attorney, Wayne Brucar, has told the court he believes police overreacted to Anderson's case in the months after the investigation into the slayings of the three Lemak children in March 1999.

On Friday, Brucar told the court that Naperville police were suffering a "Marilyn Lemak hangover" when they charged Anderson. Marilyn Lemak is the Naperville woman accused of drugging and smothering her young children.

Naperville investigators have previously rejected that idea, and police also have indicated they do not believe that Anderson's alleged actions were a copycat crime.

Brucar has said Anderson never intended to take the life of her daughter and maintained that stance as he reacted to the judge's decision after Monday's proceedings.

"Our position is that we don't believe a crime was committed," Brucar said.

Anderson is to appear in court again later this month as her attorney tries to suppress the woman's statements to police.

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