Home > Crime > Cesar Laurean – The Justice Train Is Pulling Into The Station

Cesar Laurean – The Justice Train Is Pulling Into The Station

08/08/2010

Friday, Cesar Laurean was moved from Onslow County to Wayne County, NC.  Laurean is charged with first-degree murder in the December 2007 bludgeoning death of 20-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach.  A pre-trial hearing is scheduled Monday, with jury selection to begin Tuesday.

It is being reported that a surprise discovery was made on July 26. A box containing more than 1,300 documents was found at the Onslow County Sheriff’s Department. The defense is poring over the files to see if they contain any new evidence.  They do acknowledge what they have reviewed appears to be duplicates of discovery they have already received, but it is frustrating to have this occur on the eve of the trial.

Defense attorney Dick McNeil did make it clear he doesn’t blame District Attorney Dewey Hudson and Chief Assistant District Attorney Ernie Lee, even going so far as to say they have done an outstanding job of coordinating discovery from local, state, federal and military agencies.

Last minute discovery situations, such as this are frowned upon and can be potential grounds for a trial delay.

Apparently, this is not an isolated problem!  Many of you following the Casey Anthony case will, no doubt, recall Judge Belvin Perry strongly suggesting to Linda Drane-Burdick that she personally visit OCSO to avoid this same type of situation!

Background

Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach was eight and a half  months pregnant when she disappeared.  In May 2007 she accused Laurean of rape, but in November she stated that her pregnancy was not the result of a sexual assault.

The fire pit

December 19, Maria goes missing and by early January Laurean goes on the run.  He left a note for his wife, Christina that said Maria committed suicide by slitting her own throat with a knife, and he panicked and buried her in the woods near their home.

Lauterbach’s charred remains, along with the remains of her unborn child, were found buried in a fire pit in Laurean’s backyard.

Autopsy results showed Maria died of traumatic head injury due to blunt force trauma most likely inflicted with a crowbar.  The report also shows there was a superficial four-inch wound to the left side of Maria’s neck and it is believed Laurean made the cut after her death to corroborate his story.

Maria and baby laid to rest

The autopsy also revealed that Maria’s unborn baby was a girl, not a boy as previously reported. Based on an early sonogram, Lauterbach told her family the baby was a boy she would name Gabriel Joseph.

Three months after Laurean disappeared he was captured in Mexico. A year passes before he is finally extradited to the U.S.  Due to extradition agreements with Mexico, Laurean will not face the death penalty.

In May 2009, a report by the Defense Department’s Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, said Cesar Laurean wasn’t the father of the unborn baby girl, as the DNA did not match.

Laurean, charged with first-degree murder in the death Maria Lauterbach, will not face charges in the death of the baby, as North Carolina law does not recognize the death of an unborn child as a separate homicide.

If convicted, Laurean faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

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  1. Ritanita
    08/09/2010 at 11:21 am

    Guess I’m first again! We’ve heard so little about this case since Laurean was brought back to the US. Thanks for keeping us all current. I do hope the trial goes off as planned and that it gets live-streamed.

  2. Melissa Bourgeoios
    08/12/2010 at 9:42 pm

    From the get go, I always thought that the wife assisted her husband in the murder and burning of the bodies…..She should be brought to trial as well…..

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