BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (STMW) — At the end of a murder trial featuring dueling DNA experts, a Cook County judge looked to the demeanor of the defendant and of relatives forced to testify against him to reach his verdict.

Lazzerick Mosley is guilty of killing William Schmidt in the 53-year-old mechanic’s Tinley Park apartment in May 2009, Cook County Judge John J. Hynes ruled Thursday at the Bridgeview Courthouse.

Hynes said he believed the testimony of Mosley’s father and brother, to whom Mosley had confessed days after stabbing Schmidt in his own home and stealing his car, Sun-Times Media is reporting.

The judge said Curtis Terry Sr. and Curtis Terry Jr. seemed a little uncomfortable on the witness stand, subpoenaed to give evidence that would put their relative away.

That’s because, the judge noticed, Mosley was glaring at them.

“I have seen this before,” the judge said. “This is the evil eye of intimidation. He’s letting witnesses know he’s there and he’s listening to every word.”

Mosley’s wife, Sandra Mosley, covered her face with the hands she’d been praying with at the mention of the word “guilty.”

“I was praying,” she said afterward. “He was never like that with me. I do feel sorry for Mr. Schmidt’s family. They won’t get to see Mr. Schmidt anymore.”

The pair had been married only a few months when Mosley was arrested in May 2009.

Now Mosley, 32, faces a prison sentence of 26 years to life, prosecutors said. Before the state of Illinois abolished the death penalty, prosecutors had been seeking capitol punishment for him.

He returns to court on Jan. 9, when he’ll be sentenced on the six felony counts of murder, home invasion, armed robbery and possessing a stolen motor vehicle.

Meanwhile, court records show he has a carjacking case pending at the Markham courthouse.

Evidence during the bench trial in November showed that Mosley for months had stalked Schmidt, who worked overnights at a truck stop, then approached him the morning of May 2, 2009.

Mosley pushed Schmidt inside the older man’s messy apartment in the 15900 block of Westway Walk, told him to hand over all his money and valuables, and stabbed and sliced him with a knife Mosley had stolen out his own father’s kitchen.

Mosley told his family he watched Schmidt die, then fled the apartment in Schmidt’s blue Honda Fit to Dolton, where his father lives. But he’d dropped the knife and told his relatives later he couldn’t find it in the apartment’s clutter.

“He provided details only the killer would know,” Hynes said.

He blamed his father for not getting him a gun, and he enlisted relatives to help him find the keys so he could go back and retrieve the knife, but it was too late.

One of Schmidt’s relatives asked Tinley Park police to do a well-being check; police found his body on May 4 and the knife nearby. Then they found the Fit in the parking lot of a Dolton nursing home where Mosley dumped it.

DNA taken from the knife handle and parts of Schmidt’s car matched Mosley, an Illinois State Police forensic scientist testified. But a private expert hired by the defense disagreed, saying the DNA profile actually excluded Mosley.

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

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