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Defense Attorneys Seek Gag Order In Marlen Ochoa Murder Case

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Attorneys representing the mother and daughter accused of killing Marlen Ochoa and her unborn son are proposing a gag order in the case.

The public defender's office filed the motion at a status hearing on Thursday. The judge did not rule on the request.

Frank Avila, the attorney for Ochoa's husband, Yovanny Lopez, said after the hearing that the motion was designed "to silence us."

"We have a right to freedom of speech," Avila said.

The proposed order, Avila said, would prohibit him and advocates from speaking about the case, which one advocate, Julie Contreras, called "un American."

Clarisa Figueroa, 46, and her daughter Desiree, 25, pleaded not guilty in June to charges of murder, kidnapping, dismembering a body, and concealing a homicide in Ochoa's death. They were later charged murder of her baby, Yovanny Lopez, who died on June 14, nearly two months after they allegedly cut him from her womb.

After the hearing, Marlen Ochoa's husband, said: "I feel very sad I don't have my wife and son anymore."

He said his three-year-old son "asks me, when I am going to see my mom again."

"The only thing I am asking for is justice."

Prosecutors have said the Figueroas plotted for weeks to kill Ochoa and steal her baby.

According to police and prosecutors, the pair strangled Ochoa at their home in the Scottsdale neighborhood on April 23, and then the elder Figueroa cut Yovanny from Ochoa's womb, and passed him off as her own when she went to Christ Medical Center.

Yovanny died on June 14, after two months on life support at the hospital. His death was ruled a homicide. The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office determined Yovanny died from lack of oxygen to the brain.

The baby's real identity was not revealed for three weeks after he was born, after police investigating Ochoa's disappearance conducted a DNA test on the baby and confirmed he was Ochoa's. Detectives later found Ochoa's body stuffed in a trash can at the Figueroas' home.

Clarisa Figueroa's boyfriend, Piotr Bobak, is charged with helping the Figueroas' cover up Ochoa's murder. Bobak's defense attorney, Hal Garfinkel, said after the hearing Thursday Bobak had no knowledge of the murder or that Figueroa's home was crime scene.


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