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Cristian Loga-Negru will go before a jury of his peers next year to decide whether or not he’s guilty of killing his estranged wife last fall with a hatchet.

Loga-Negru and his attorney, Patrick Cafferty, appeared in court Monday for a short status hearing before Racine County Circuit Judge Eugene Gasiorkiewicz.

The judge set the trial date for Feb. 1.

During the hearing, Cafferty told the court that the defense was conducting its own investigation, and he was expecting it to complete in 60 days, according to online court records.

Loga-Negru was charged last November with one felony count each of 1st degree intentional homicide, mayhem and kidnapping. If convicted of the homicide charge alone, the defendant faces life in prison.

According to his criminal complaint, Loga-Negru, 38, of Arlington Heights, IL, on Nov. 21 tracked Roxana Abrudan, 36, to her boss’ house in Mount Pleasant and attacked her with a hatchet in the yard when she returned from an errand. The couple was separated after Abrudan filed a police report and obtained a restraining order against the defendant. Abrudan 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 is being held without bond in the Racine County Jail. His final pre-trial conference is set for Jan. 25.