Mother, Son Ordered Back To IndianaAP , Associated Press
May. 22, 1985 12:22 PM ET
SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A mother and her teen-age son have been ordered extradited to Indiana to face charges stemming from the 1984 crossbow slaying of an elderly relative, whose body was dismembered and stored in a freezer.
Hilma Marie Witte, 37, and her son, Eric August Witte, 18, were already prosecuted in federal court in San Diego for cashing the dead woman's Social Security checks.
A judge sentenced Mrs. Witte to 10 years in federal prison and her son to four years in prison. In addition, Mrs. Witte was fined $10,000 and ordered to make restitution of $1,335 in connection with checks she cashed.
During a hearing Tuesday, Municipal Court Judge Wayne L. Peterson ordered the two to be sent back to Indiana immediately to face charges there. Both have been held without bond for prosecution in the death of Elaine Witte, 74, the stepmother-in-law of Hilma Witte.
Eric Witte was a Navy enlisted man stationed in San Diego.
Hilma Witte is wanted on an accessory charge of ordering, inducing and causing the murder, said LaPorte County Deputy Prosecutor William Herrbach. Eric Witte is wanted on charge of assissting a criminal for allegedly helping his mother dispose of the body, he said.
Another of Hilma Witte's sons, John David ''Butch'' Witte, 15, has been charged with murder. Douglas Menkel, 22, a friend of Eric's, is charged with being an accessory to murder.
According to Indiana authorities, Elaine Witte lived in Trail Creek, Ind., a suburb of Michigan City. Police Chief Marshall M. Chastain said Hilma Witte allegedly instructed her youngest son, John, to kill his step-grandmother in January 1984..
Chastain testifed in Indiana court proceedings that the boy allegedly shot the older woman with a crossbow as she slept.
Authorities said the woman's body was dismembered and the parts stored in a freezer.