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COLON CASE Second gag order angers girl's family



Published: Fri, July 20, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



A family friend called the order asinine.

By PAUL WHEATLEY

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- Judge Theresa Dellick advised those involved in the case against 14-year-old Jackie Colon to keep quiet, reiterating a gag order placed June 22 by Judge Joseph E. O'Neill.

A hearing today in the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center came in response to comments made by Jackie's lawyer, Atty. Mark S. Colucci to the press.

Colucci had been ordered to appear to explain his representation of Jackie because the court earlier had appointed Atty. Don L. Hanni Jr. as her attorney. A hearing must now be held to determine whether the court will accept Colucci's representation, but no date has been set.

Jackie's mother, Michele Colon, was visibly upset after today's hearing but would not comment on the case, fearing legal retribution. But Bill Aaron, a friend of the family who said he's known the Colons for 20 years, called the gag order asinine, especially when it relates to Michele.

"What the hell?" Aaron said. "It's her daughter."

The accused: Aaron said Jackie, who is charged with stabbing a 3-month-old boy to death last December and has been ruled mentally ill, has gained 65 pounds in the justice center since her arrest Dec. 18.

"She doesn't have glasses," he said. "She had dentist appointments and they never took her. She doesn't see a psychiatrist. We've got kids down there picking on her and juvenile [officials] saying it's not happening."

During the hearing, Judge Dellick told Colucci the court would be looking into his credentials to see if he's fit to handle such a case.

But Aaron said Colon's family is happy with their lawyer.

Aaron also said Michele Colon is still looking for care for her daughter.

She learned Monday that a plan to send Jackie to a mental health facility in Indiana fell through after placement was denied.

Detention officials said earlier that the court is trying to reinstate Jackie's placement in the Indiana facility.

"Why isn't there a place for people like this?" asked Aaron.

wheatley@vindy.com




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