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A teen-age janitor has been charged with murder in...

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- A teen-age janitor has been charged with murder in the strangling-beating death of a pregnant reporter for the South Bend Tribune newspaper.

Ronald K. Whitehead, 16, of Granger, was charged Tuesday in St. Joseph Circuit Court as an adult with one count of murder in the death of Mary Collins Kretschmar, 26, an education reporter for the Tribune.

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Mrs. Kretschmar, who was five months pregnant, was strangled with electrical cords and severely beaten with a steel rod the evening of Dec. 15, 1980, at the Tribune's Mishawaka office. She had been working late at the office.

After the attack, Whitehead, who was working as a janitor in the building, called police and said he fought with Mrs. Kretschmar's assailant, officials said.

Whitehead was being held in St. Joseph County Jail.

Whitehead's attorney, Dennis Brennan, has asked that Circuit Court Judge John W. Montgomery be replaced in the case. Montgomery said he would consider the request.

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