A federal judge in Chicago had asked Kenneth Cusick and his former accusers if they thought they could settle Cusick’s lawsuit. The answer is no.
Attorneys in the case brought by Cusick, the Ottawa man acquitted in 2019 of killing his wife, advised U.S. District Judge Mary M. Rowland on Tuesday no deal is at hand.
“Defendants do not believe a settlement conference would be productive at this time,” Rowland said in an order filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
The judge further reported that all parties in the case “anticipate extensive expert discovery,” which reduces the odds a jury will hear Cusick’s case by year’s end.
Cusick’s wife Tracy died in early January 2006. Eleven years later, prosecutors charged him with murder, alleging he drowned her in a home toilet. Defense lawyers argued Tracy died not from drowning but rather from alcohol and drug intoxication. Kenneth Cusick was acquitted of murder shortly before Christmas 2019.
Ten months later, Cusick sued La Salle County and the city of Ottawa along with individually named police officers, county officials and witnesses for the state. Cusick alleged 12 violations of state or federal law and said the evidence was “fabricated” and that he was “framed.”
Some counts were thrown out, but a trial remains pending. Cusick and the defendants previously said they aimed for trial, expected to take three weeks, in late 2023 or early 2024.