Updated 04/23/13 – 6:05 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — DuPage County prosecutors told jurors in the triple murder trial of Johnny Borizov that he convinced a mentally-challenged accomplice to kill his ex-girlfriend’s family in 2010, because Borizov was involved in a bitter custody battle with his ex.
Borizov’s trial on murder charges is the first trial to allow cameras in the courtroom in the Chicago area.
Prosecutors have said he convinced another man, Jacob Nodarse, to kill Angela Kramer’s parents, Jeffrey and Lori, and her brother, Mike, in their Darien Home in March 2010. Angela Kramer survived by hiding in a closet.
Angela Kramer testified that Borizov despised her family so much that he once told her he wanted to see them “in body bags.”
WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports Assistant DuPage County State’s Atty. Joseph Ruggiero laid out the prosecution’s case in opening statements Tuesday morning, starting with the words Borizov allegedly used in his final instructions to co-defendant Jacob Nodarse, who has pleaded guilty to carrying out the murders, and is set to testify against Borizov.
“’Kill everybody in the house, but especially kill Angela and Mike. Kill everyone in the house, but especially kill Angela and Mike.’ Those are his words,” Ruggerio said. “’You’re going to kick in the door, or you’re going to break in a window, and you’re going to stay committed. Once you get inside, you’ve got to stay committed. You’ve got to kill everybody in the house, especially Angela and Mike. Multiple shots, Jake; make sure they’re all dead.’”
Angela Kramer survived the attack by hiding in a closet.
The prosecution painted a picture of an angry Borizov, who hated Angela Kramer’s family, and told them all he wanted them dead.
But defense attorney Paul DeLuca claimed Nodarse acted alone.
“Only one person orchestrated these murders and put Jake up to this, and that was Jacob Nodarse himself. He was guided by his own delusions and demons, that were fueled by his repeated, repeated and deadly abuse of serious, serious drugs,” DeLuca said.
DeLuca argued Nodarse’s actions after he was arrested prove he carried out the shooting on his own, pointing to a recorded conversation the two had while they were in neighboring holding cells.
“During this conversation, Jake never says to Johnny, ‘Johnny, you set me up, you dirty so-and-so. Johnny, how could you do this to me? Johnny, how come you didn’t kill anybody? Johnny, what happened? You know you set me up, Johnny.’ He doesn’t say one thing. He doesn’t say one thing to Johnny about that,” he said.
Ruggerio told the jury Borizov manipulated the mentally-challenged Nodarse, convincing him his own life was in danger – as was his family’s – if he didn’t kill the Kramers.
Nodarse was arrested in Florida the day after the shooting. He has been sentenced to 45 years to life in prison after pleading guilty, but mentally ill, and will be the prosecution’s star witness against Borizov.