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Man Due In Court For Elderly Mom’s Murder

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MAYWOOD (CBS/STMW) – A Berwyn man was due in bond court Thursday, charged with strangling his 90-year-old mother at her west suburban home.

Joseph Kestian, 58, of the 3300 block of Clarence Avenue in Berwyn, was charged Wednesday with one count of first-degree murder, Cook County State’s Attorney’s office spokesman Andy Conklin said. Kestian is scheduled to appear for a bond hearing Thursday morning at the Maywood Courthouse at 1500 S. Maybrook Dr. in Maywood.

Kestian is accused of murdering his 90-year-old mother, Josephine Kestian. He is scheduled for a bond hearing at the Fourth Municipal District Courthouse later Thursday.

Police found Josephine Kestian strangled in her home in the 3300 block of Clarence Avenue about 1:40 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office. Minutes earlier, someone placed a 911 call for an unresponsive female at that address, Berwyn police said.

Later Tuesday, the medical examiner’s office had sealed the front door of the stucco bungalow where neighbors said they could often hear Kestian and her son yelling at each other.

An autopsy conducted by the medical examiner’s office concluded Josephine Kestian suffered a fractured hyoid bone, which is consistent with strangulation, according to a release from Berwyn police. Other injuries noted during the autopsy were fractured ribs, a fractured spine, ligature marks and bruising around the neck and facial area.

Some of the injuries may have resulted from blunt trauma and physical abuse over a period of time, the release said.

Kestian used to work as a waitress at two Berwyn restaurants and wouldn’t “take crap’’ from anyone, including her late husband, next door neighbor Robert Sinder said.

Sinder, a former custodian at the adjacent St. Leonard Catholic Church, said he often heard mother and son arguing.

“They’re at it again,’’ Sinder, 72, recalled telling his wife when he’d hear the raised voices.

Police were sometimes called to the home when tempers flared, others said.

“She was a feisty little old lady,’’ neighbor Tom Pohl, 58, said of Kestian.

“She was the block watchdog.’’

Neighbors believed Kestian might have other children who live out of state.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)