Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Postponed hearing will help investigation

August 1, 2001

The preliminary hearing for the DeWitt woman accused of killing her husband, an MSU professor, that was scheduled for Tuesday, has been postponed until Sept. 12.

DeWitt police Detective Scott Ciupak said the county prosecutor and Jonaki Ray’s attorney agreed on the postponement after a Monday meeting.

“More time always helps the investigation,” Ciupak said.

Ciupak said the extension will allow him to investigate the case and for lab work to be completed.

“We have got an opportunity to check things out,” he said. “I expect to have (the lab work) by the 12th.”

Ciupak wouldn’t say exactly why the hearing was postponed, but he did say lab work wasn’t the only reason.

Ray, 28, is still being held in the Clinton County Jail without bond for the July 1 killing of her husband, Dinesh Balagangadhar, 29. The two had been married a year.

Balagangadhar, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, died of a single stab wound to the upper chest area, which penetrated his heart and lungs. DeWitt police Chief Douglas Rogers said Ray has claimed the stabbing was accidental, saying she was preparing a meal and somehow Ray turned into him or he turned into her.

Ray’s attorney, Frank Reynolds, said the meeting with the prosecution went well.

“In our investigation we found some additional evidence,” he said. “As soon as (the investigation) is done we will be able to push forward.”

Reynolds said if the lab work needed for his case is not completed by the set date, the hearing will go on as scheduled. He said there are occasions where both the prosecution and defense agree for a postponement.

“We do on occasions when something happens so fast,” he said. “But this is a little different because we had some more work on evidence and some more investigating to do.”

Calls to the prosecutor’s office seeking comment weren’t returned Tuesday.

With the hearing rescheduled, many people who knew Balagangadhar are left hanging.

Palatine, Ill., resident Subath Kamalasan, who is the brother-in-law of Balagangadhar’s brother, said he is still unsure what to think of Ray’s involvement.

“I think she is a mean person, but she is intelligent, she knows what she is doing,” he said. “She is very highly educated.”


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