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Statements Of Accused Wife Killer Will Be ‘Fair Game’ At Trial

Ronald Stolberg

Ronald Stolberg is charged with the murder of his wife, Rachel Stolberg, in their Vernon Hills home. (Credit: Vernon Hills Police)

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (STMW) – The incriminating statements a Vernon Hills man made about allegedly murdering his wife can be used against him at his upcoming trial, a judge ruled.

Ronald Stolberg, 49, is due to stand trial for first-degree murder May 20. He made incriminating statements to police at the crime scene — his residence — on June 8, 2011, and again during questioning.

Stolberg alternated between answering questions police asked him about his wife Rachel Stolberg, 54, and saying that he wanted an attorney present, his attorney Kevin Rosner said. Because he played these “cat and mouse games” with police, Circuit Judge Mark Levitt found that Stolberg freely and voluntarily waived his rights to remain silent or have an attorney present during police questioning, Rosner said. Levitt made his ruling Thursday, April 25.

Levitt denied the defense’s request to bar the incriminating statements made to police during questioning, meaning they are fair game for prosecutors to use during the trial.

“We respect his decision, but we’re disappointed. We’re going to move on with great expectations for trial,” Rosner said.

Stolberg told police that his wife awoke him several times the evening of June 7, 2011, prosecutors Scott Hoffert and James Newman have said. He yelled at her for disturbing his slumber and eventually wrestled her “down to the ground” so he could sleep, they said.

Prosecutors declined to disclose the exact nature of Stolberg’s incriminating statements.

Stolberg has pleaded not guilty to the murder. He is due back in court May 6.

Stolberg is being held at Lake County Jail without bond.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)