The defendant accused of fatally stabbing a woman in her Janesville home in 2017 rejected a plea agreement Thursday and is set to begin his jury trial in Rock County Court next week.
Julian D. Collazo, 22, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in connection with the Dec. 9, 2017, stabbing death of Christine Scaccia-Lubeck, 43.
After rejecting a deal in which he would have pleaded to first-degree reckless homicide and armed robbery charges, Collazo said in court he was ready to move forward with his trial, which is scheduled to run Monday through Friday.
The other charges essentially would have taken a life sentence off the table, said Rock County Judge Barbara McCrory.
Collazo’s attorney, Jeffrey Jensen, hopes to introduce evidence and argue that Nicole R. Kazar was the one who stabbed Scaccia-Lubeck.
One witness heard Kazar confess to the killing, the defense has said, and that person will testify at the trial. The defense has had trouble subpoenaing another witness related to the matter. McCrory said she would sign off on a material witness warrant.
Kazar already has been convicted of helping Collazo steal Scaccia-Lubeck’s car after the stabbing. But court documents from the prosecution say she did not know about the stabbing until later.
The jury trial is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. Monday with jury selection. Officials expressed concern about parking, given construction work around the courthouse, and potential jurors being a little late.
It’s possible, too, that Jensen reviews evidence over the weekend that is substantial enough to ask a judge to postpone the trial. He said he is still receiving documents.
Assistant District Attorney Scott Dirks said he is turning over evidence as soon as possible, adding that investigative work on such serious cases continues until and sometimes during trials.