A Will County judge ordered the three children of a Joliet man charged with killing his wife to be placed in shelter care and in the temporary custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
On Thursday morning, Judge Paula Gomora also ordered that the three sons of Michael Kazecki, 38, not be placed with paternal relatives. Gomora presided over a hearing at River Valley Justice Center about custody of the children.
Gomora was told by Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Tina Filipiak that the boys were witnesses in the criminal case against Kazecki and it would not be in their best interest to be placed with paternal relatives.
Gomora ordered Kazecki to cooperate with DCFS officials. The state agency is investigating allegations of neglect involving Kazecki, DCFS spokeswoman Alissandra Calderon said in an email.
Calderon said the agency had contact with the Kazecki family in April in connection with allegations of neglect. The investigation was unfounded because of a lack of evidence, she said.
“The current investigation against Michael Kazecki is ongoing and in cooperation with Joliet authorities,” Calderon said.
She said the three children are in DCFS protective custody.
Kazecki appeared at Thursday’s court hearing. He was shackled and in a red jail uniform. His mother also was in attendance.
Kazecki faces charges of murder and aggravated domestic battery in connection with the death of his wife, Rebecca Kazecki, who died Tuesday at Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center after suffering head trauma, a fractured skull and bleeding on her brain.
Police have said the fatal attack was the last in a string of beatings carried out over the course of three days.
The couple have three boys, ages 11, 9 and 5. Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Jim Long said Michael Kazecki was beating his 11-year-old son when Rebecca Kazecki intervened, and he in turn beat her.
Michael Kazecki’s attorney, Nathaniel Tate, said his client contests the nature of the charges and has no previous arrests.
Both Rebecca and Michael Kazecki worked as teachers in Joliet Public Schools District 86.
Rebecca Kazecki worked 14 years at Gompers Junior High School, most recently as an eighth-grade special education teacher, district officials said. Michael Kazecki was with the district for 10 years, most recently as an English language arts teacher.