WHEATON, Ill. (STMW) — Murder suspect Joseph Spitalli tried from jail to hire a hit man to kill his former girlfriend so she couldn’t testify against him — and offered to use his tax refund to pay for the slaying, DuPage County prosecutors alleged Monday.
The information was disclosed in court documents as the Darien man appeared in court to formally deny charges he fatally stabbed his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend last November, the Sun-Times is reporting.
Media cameras rolled as Spitalli, 34, stood calmly in the courtroom while his attorney entered not guilty pleas on his behalf to charges of murder, kidnapping and aggravated battery.
Prosecutors contend the 6-foot-4, 300-pound Spitalli slashed the throat of Teymur Huseynli during a Nov. 16 confrontation as Huseynli walked with Spitalli’s former girlfriend.
After the slaying, Spitalli allegedly kidnapped former girlfriend Kristina Baltrimaviciene and forced her into his car.
Later, he and Baltrimaviciene called 911 to report the stabbing but he allegedly claimed two attackers had killed Huseynli, authorities have said.
After being charged and jailed in the killing, Spitalli allegedly tried to recruit a hit man to murder Baltrimaviciene and his former roommate to keep them from testifying against him, prosecutors alleged in a court filing.
Spitalli secretly was recorded by police talking to another jail inmate about staging a car crash or drug overdose to kill Baltrimaviciene.
Spitalli also disclosed plans to escape from the DuPage County Jail by hiding in a shower room, then attacking and overpowering a jail guard, documents indicate.
He later was recorded calling an undercover police officer posing as a hit man to set up a jailhouse visit to discuss his alleged plans, according to court documents.
Spitalli allegedly told the jail inmate he could pay for the purported hit man with a tax refund he was expecting or with funds raised to pay for a private attorney, documents show.
Questioned by sheriff’s deputies last weekend, Spitalli allegedly admitted talking about killing his former girlfriend but insisted he wasn’t serious about it.
A judge has barred Spitalli from using jail telephones except to consult with his court-appointed attorneys. Spitalli, who is jailed without bond, also was barred from having any visitors.
Last week, Spitalli’s attorney tried to bar media cameras from his arraignment, but a judge overruled those objections.
Judge Daniel Guerin also rejected other requests that Spitalli be allowed to skip Monday’s hearing to avoid media photographers in the courtroom — or that he be allowed to wear street clothes and no handcuffs.
During his court appearance, Spitalli’s wore orange jail-issue fatigues and his hands were cuffed at his waist.
He currently is being held in segregation in the jail after allegedly threatening the jail inmate who tipped authorities to his purported plans to hire a hit man.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)