Taylor Summers Murder Suspects Stand Separate Trials
Nicholas' order comes in response to a petition filed by one of the suspect's attorneys, Carolyn T. Carluccio, claiming that her client Jennifer Mitkus would be prejudiced if forced to stand trial with photographer Anthony J. Frederick, who is accused of first- and third-degree murder.
Mitkus, a former assistant to Frederick, is facing charges of making false statements to police and hindering apprehension of the suspect.
Mitkus, known as both a vagrant and an alleged prostitute, was arrested in March shortly after the body of Taylor Summers, also known as Natel King, was found brutally stabbed, bound and gagged in a ravine in Whitemarsh, Penn., a suburb 10 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
Authorities believed at the time that Frederick videotaped the killing of Summers with intent to distribute it as a bondage snuff film. He has been held without bail since the investigation and will stand trial on Feb. 28.
During a search of Frederick's car and home, bloodstained items were retrieved along with a note in a camera bag that served as a contract between Frederick and Summer. The contract listed various types of video and photo shoots and used the phrase "snuff vid," suggesting the intention of the photo session.
Mitkus was also arrested following the investigation of Summers' disappearance and murder and she was jailed for 180 days. Unable to post bail, she was released in September after her attorney argued that no trial date had yet been set and her client could no longer be held in prison.
Prior to her arrest, Mitkus had misled investigators by telling them that she last saw Summers by her car outside the studio after the photo shoot had been completed and that she and Frederick left the area before Summers did.
According to the Montgomery County clerk, Mitkus will stand trial shortly after Frederick.
Summers had traveled from her home in Ontario, Canada, to work with Frederick on a photo shoot on Feb. 29, 2004, at his rented apartment studio at 105 W. Third St., Conshohocken, Pa.