The uncle, aunt and grandparents have agreed on a custody arrangement for two boys whose father allegedly shot and killed their mother in a Chicago suburb this spring.
At a Lamoreaux Justice Center hearing in Orange, Rea and Jason Richmond of San Clemente came to a general agreement with grandparents Catherine Peters and Dave Bird to allow visits with the shooting victim's two young sons.
The Richmonds are the sister and brother-in-law of George Kleopa, 33, who is in custody in Illinois on charges of shooting his live-in girlfriend and mother of his sons Michele Peters, 30, in March.
"I think I'm going to back off on the custody thing," Catherine Peters said after the hearing Monday. "Their willing to work on visitation. We were going to try and see the kids now, but I have to get a flight out of LAX."
The children's grandparents, Dave Bird and Catherine Peters, have filed assertions of custody rights in Cook County family court.
Kleopa and Michele Peters had been a couple for 14 years and had two young sons together. Witnesses reported that on the night of her death they heard the couple arguing about Kleopa seeing another woman, according to statements in court hearings.
Chicago Heights police said that Kleopa changed his story several times of how Peters came be to fatally shot in the face when he was first taken into police custody in March, a Cook County prosecutor told the judge at Kleopa's arraignment.
Kleopa allegedly told police that Peters had shot herself, then said that Peters was bringing him the gun for him to clean and "it went off."
Currently, attorneys in Illinois are preparing for trial; Kleopa has pleaded "not guilty" to the charges.
-- Oak Lawn Patch Editor Lorraine Swanson and Bridgette Outten contributed to this report.