Defense: Drew Peterson Case Tainted Christopher Vaughn Trial Jurors

Christopher Vaughn faces a mandatory life term for the quadruple-murders

A judge is considering granting a new trial to a 37-year-old suburban Chicago man convicted of murdering his wife and three children.

Judge Daniel Rozak said Monday that he will decide Tuesday whether Christopher Vaughn deserves a new trial or whether to proceed with sentencing Vaughn for his existing murder convictions.

He faces a mandatory life term if his convictions stand.

Vaughn's attorney, George Lenard, told the judge his client deserves a new trial, in part because of the Drew Peterson trial.

Lenard said the behavior of Peterson's attorneys in front of the cameras made jurors think less of all defense attorneys, including Vaughn's.

The trials coincided and were both held in Joliet.

"Well, we never know what the exact effect is on the jury but it surely didn't help and it was obviously improper," said Lenard.

Vaughn was convicted in September in the 2007 slayings of 34-year-old Kimberly Vaughn and their children -- 12-year-old Abigayle, 11-year-old Cassandra and 8-year-old Blake. The four were killed in the family's SUV as they headed to a waterpark.

Prosecutors said the computer specialist planned the murders in advance. They argued he saw his family as an obstacle to his dream of starting a life subsisting in Canada's wilderness.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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