Bond modified for homicide suspect

(Published Nov. 22, 2006, 5:00 p.m.)

By Mike Heine/The Week

Carol L. LaPorte is allowed no passport, no alcohol, no weapons and no travel outside Illinois or Wisconsin while she awaits her second reckless homicide trial.

Walworth County Judge Michael Gibbs ordered LaPorte to surrender her passport by 4 p.m. Wednesday and check in weekly with Norridge, Ill. police, the closest law enforcement to her home.

LaPorte has been free since Oct. 17, when a group of family and friends collected enough money for a $250,000 bond. One "benefactor" of LaPorte, as described by her defense attorney, obtained a cashier's check for the bond.

Gibbs set bond conditions Tuesday. He didn't set conditions at the Oct. 17 status hearing because he was under the impression LaPorte could not raise the quarter-million dollars needed to get out of jail.

A Walworth County jury in April 2005 convicted LaPorte, 36, Chicago, of first-degree reckless homicide for stabbing her husband, Anthony, in the heart with a steak knife in their Williams Bay condominium in September 2003. She received a 10-year prison sentence.

In October, Gibbs ruled that LaPorte should have a new trial because her defense attorney at her first trial was ineffective.

The state Attorney General's Office has not yet made a decision as to whether it will appeal Gibb's decision, District Attorney Phil Koss said. A decision is expected by Dec. 1.

LaPorte says the stabbing was in self-defense after a physical altercation with her husband following a night of partying and drinking.

LaPorte's case is scheduled for a two-week retrial starting Jan. 8.

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