The man accused of killing his estranged wife with a hatchet last month entered a not-guilty plea Tuesday at his preliminary hearing.
Cristian Loga-Negru, 38, of Arlington Heights, IL, is charged with 1st degree intentional homicide, mayhem and kidnapping. He faces life imprisonment on the homicide charge alone and many more years beyond that for the additional felonies.
Loga-Negru will most likely go to trial on the charges against him. Racine County District Attorney Rich Chiapete confirmed for the court Tuesday that his office has not extended any plea offerings to the defendant.
Online court records indicate Loga-Negru has retained local defense Attorney Pat Cafferty after having some difficulty reaching contacts in Romania to secure funds to pay for a lawyer. Those issues were resolved and Loga-Negru Dec. 19 was declared competent to stand trial.
According to Mount Pleasant police, Loga-Negru tracked Roxana Abrudan, 36, to a friend’s house in the village and attacked her with a hatchet in the yard when she returned from an errand. The couple was separated after the woman filed a police report and obtained a restraining order against the defendant. The victim had been staying in Mount Pleasant for about a month before the defendant found her.
Autopsy results show that Abrudan died of “multiple chop wounds and blunt force injuries.” In addition to several deep lacerations to her head, Abrudan suffered broken bones in her face and head, chop wounds to both hands and cuts and bruises on her legs.
Loga-Negru remains in the Racine County Jail without bond. He will next be in court for a pre-trial conference Jan. 16.