Judge in Mitkus Trial Steps Down

Gretchen Gallen
NORRISTOWN, Pa – Several days after photographer Anthony Frederick pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and other charges related to the death of adult performer Taylor Summers, also known as Natel King, the judge scheduled to preside over the criminal case against Frederick's assistant, Jennifer Mitkus, has stepped down.

Giving no reason for his request for dismissal, Montgomery County Judge William T. Nicholas has requested that the case be reassigned to Judge William R. Carpenter.

Mitkus is charged with involvement in the cover-up of Summers' murder, which Frederick claims was in self defense after he told the young actress that he couldn't pay her for a bondage shoot they had done earlier that day. Frederick claims Summers threatened him with a hunting knife.

Summers' body was later discovered in a ravine in Whitemarsh, Pa. with multiple stab wounds, wrapped in a photographer's backdrop.

Mitkus has been on the down side of the law since the investigation into Summers' murder began in March. She was immediately charged with lying to authorities and hindering apprehension of Frederick.

But Mitkus was further implicated in a statement given to police by Frederick in February, claiming that Mitkus was present during the murder and that she stabbed Summers twice after the woman had died. Mitkus is also accused of helping carry Summers' body to Frederick's car.

Frederick, who is facing up to 50 years in federal prison, will appear as a primary witness in Mitkus' trial, which has not yet been scheduled. Mitkus is facing 12 additional charges including abuse of a corpse, hindering apprehension, criminal conspiracy, criminal attempt to commit auto theft and related offenses. She is being held in the Montgomery County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail.