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Crime & Courts

New lawyer for man facing murder charges

Michael G. Kulpin
Michael G. Kulpin

SYCAMORE – A former DeKalb man about to face trial on murder charges in the slaying of his girlfriend has been granted a lawyer after he got rid of his public defender last month.

Michael G. Kulpin, 21, is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated domestic battery and concealment of a homicide. Prosecutors said he beat and repeatedly stabbed Moorea Des Roches, 19, on June 4, 2016, inside the apartment they shared in the 900 block of Kimberly Drive.

Kulpin filed a handwritten motion Oct. 3 for his charges to be dismissed because of his demand for a speedy trial. At that time, he was represented by Public Defender Tom McCulloch, who Kulpin claimed wouldn’t argue his motion.

On Thursday, Chief Judge Robbin Stuckert ordered that conflict counsel Dan Transier represent Kulpin going forward.

Police have said Kulpin beat and repeatedly stabbed Des Roches inside their apartment during an argument, and then hid her body in a bedroom closet and covered her with blankets and pillows. Police said in court records that after Des Roches’ mother called them June 5, 2016, concerned she hadn’t been to work in a couple of days, they went to Des Roches’ apartment, where they found Kulpin with two other people.

They found Des Roches’ body in a bedroom closet about 10:30 that night, the records show.

On Aug. 24, Stuckert ruled that testimony about Kulpin beating Des Roches will be admissible during the trial.

Kulpin was convicted of domestic battery in Kane County for repeatedly punching Des Roches in the back seat of a woman’s car in March 2015. In an interview with police, the driver said Kulpin hit Des Roches with “at least 25 punches.”

He pleaded guilty in July 2015, and Kane County Judge John Noverini sentenced Kulpin to 12 months of nonreporting probation, records show.

In January, Kulpin filed for a reduction of his bond so he could help raise the child he had with Des Roches, court records show.

In Kulpin’s motion to dismiss, he said his rights to a speedy trial were violated. The motion then was denied by Stuckert, because when a defendant willingly agrees to a continuance, it effectively stops that 120-day clock.

On Monday, Kulpin also filed a motion saying police didn’t have a warrant to search his apartment June 4, 2014, so evidence collected from his apartment should not be allowed at trial.

Kulpin is due in court at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 30.

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