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Kane murder hearings to go to new judges

Kane County State's Attorney John Barsanti 5/10

Kane County State's Attorney John Barsanti 5/10

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Updated: January 10, 2013 6:22AM

ST. CHARLES — Two Fox Valley murder suspects will be going before new judges, as Judge John Barsanti noted he charged both men during his previous tenure as Kane County state’s attorney.

Barsanti, who served as Kane County state’s attorney from 2004 to 2010, took over last week as the replacement for now-retired Circuit Judge Timothy Sheldon.

Murder cases against Arthur Manning and Aurelio Montano were among those on Sheldon’s docket that were assigned to Barsanti. Both men were charged in 2008 during Barsanti’s tenure as top prosecutor.

“I don’t think I have any choice in the matter. My name is on the charging document,” Barsanti said in recusing himself from Manning’s case, which is back in Kane County for a second trial.

Minutes later, Montano — already serving life in prison for murdering two people in 1996 — was to appear before Barsanti, who again noted he was state’s attorney when the case originated.

Barsanti sent attorneys involved in the Manning and Montano cases to new Chief Judge Judith Brawka for reassignment.

Brawka moved Manning’s case before Judge James Hallock, who scheduled a Jan. 10 status hearing.

In 2009, Manning was convicted of stabbing to death Naromi Mannery during a September 2008 fight outside a home occupied by carnival employees in St. Charles. The appellate court overturned Manning’s conviction in 2011, saying Sheldon erroneously did not give jurors a self-defense instruction for deliberations. Manning testified at trial that Mannery instigated the fight, which also involved two other men.

Brawka assigned Montano’s case to Judge Allen Anderson, who himself will be leaving the bench at year’s end. Anderson scheduled a Jan. 11 hearing.

Montano was charged in 2008 with murdering his wife, Maria, prior to filing for divorce in 1991. Montano killed his wife, dismembered and buried her body and later moved it, authorities said previously. Her body has never been found.

As part of the same court call, Barsanti also recused himself on two other cases initiated during his time as state’s attorney.

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