Sentencing was delayed Monday for the Oswego, Ill. man convicted of killing his wife and three children in September.
Christopher Vaughn, 37, faces a mandatory life term for the quadruple murder in the sentencing hearing that was expected to conclude Monday, the Chicago Tribune reports. But Judge Daniel Rozak will take until at least Tuesday to decide whether to grant Vaughn's attorneys' request for a new trial.
Vaughn's defense attorneys made a motion for a new trial and argued that their client did not get a fair trial due to the high-profile Drew Peterson trial that took place in the courtroom next door to the proceedings, according to ABC Chicago.
Vaughn defense attorney George Lenard told the station that he didn't believe his somewhat unusual grounds for a retrial is a "tough sell." Reports the Associated Press:
Lenard says 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.
After a month-long trial, it took a jury all of one hour to convict Vaughn, 37, in the murder of his wife Kimberly, 34, and the couple's three children -- Abigayle, 12; Cassandra, 11 and Blake, 8. When his guilty verdict was read in September, Vaughn showed no reaction, the Chicago Sun-Times reports, as life in prison was both the minimum and maximum sentence for the crimes of which he was convicted.
Prosecutors said Vaughn shot his family on June 14, 2007 because he saw them as obstacles to his hopes to begin a new life living in the Canadian wilderness, the AP previously reported. He awoke his wife and children that day with the offer of a surprise trip to a downstate water park, but prosecutors say he pulled the family's sport utility vehicle off a highway after 5 a.m. that day and shot all four of them.
Vaughn told detectives and claimed throughout his trial that his wife shot their children before killing herself because she was angered by his confession to an extramarital affair, Patch reports.