A half-dozen relatives of slain mother Kimberly Vaughn made the five-hour trip from the St. Louis area to Joliet for a crucial hearing in the murder case against her husband, Christopher Vaughn.
But the lawyer for the allegedly murderous husband stayed back in Missouri, making the family's journey a waste.
Prosecutors were poised to push for emails written by Kimberly Vaughn to be used as evidence against Christopher Vaughn, 37, said Charles B. Pelkie, the spokesman for the Will County State's Attorney's Office.
But whether they were ready, Missouri attorney John Rogers was nowhere to be found, leading Judge Daniel Rozak to put off the hearing for at least a month.
Rozak scheduled a May 10 appearance for Vaughn at which lawyers for both sides will pick a date to hold the hearing on the admissibility of the emails.
"We were fully prepared to argue today, but Mr. Rogers was not present," Pelkie said Tuesday.
Rogers refused to discuss why he failed to appear for the hearing, hanging up the phone when asked why he was not there.
Christopher Vaughn was charged with gunning down his 34-year-old wife and three children — Blake, 8, Cassandra, 11, and Abigayle, 12 — while they sat in the family's sport utility vehicle on the Interstate 55 Frontage Road outside Channahon in June 2007.
Vaughn reportedly claimed to police that he escaped with a bullet wound to his leg when his wife shot him and the children before turning the gun on herself and taking her own life.
Police and prosecutors contend that Vaughn shot his own leg to lend credence to the story about his wife's killing spree.
Vaughn was taken into custody nine days after the killings. He was arrested at a St. Charles, MO, funeral home just before services for his wife and children were to start.
Rozak has sealed Vaughn's court file, including the prosecution motion to enter the emails as evidence. Pelkie said he could not comment on the contents of the emails from Kimberly Vaughn or disclose to whom they were written.