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Complete coverage of the Johnny Borizov murder trial

Published: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 12:15 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, May 16, 2013 10:45 a.m. CST

By DANNY CIAMPRONE - Posted Thursday, May 2, 2013

WHEATON – Since Wednesday, prosecutors have brought forth a series of witnesses to testify against Johnny Borizov's character and the mental state of Jacob Nodarse surrounding the time of the Kramer family murders in March 2010.

Borizov, 31, is accused of orchestrating the deaths of Jeff, Lori and Michael Kramer of Darien. Prosecutors say Borizov convinced his mentally ill friend, 26-year-old Nodarse, to carry out the murders, which Nodarse pleaded guilty to in 2011.

Since the start of Borizov's trial last week at the DuPage County Courthouse, prosecutors have questioned witnesses who allege Borizov had a history of anger issues toward the Kramer family. One such incident, shared by Angela Kramer, the mother of Borizov's child, occurred when Borizov allegedly pulled a knife on her father, Jeff, after he tried to tow away a car.

Taking the stand Wednesday was Steve Muszynski, a former Countryside police officer and current patrol officer in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., who testified about the tow truck incident. Muszynski alleged Borizov, of Willow Springs, was verbally abusive during the incident and that he did not calm down, even when he was cuffed and told to sit down by police officers.

No charges were filed in the incident because Jeff Kramer did not pursue them, police said.

Meanwhile, defense attorneys are pinning the slayings on Nodarse, who admitted to a history of physical and mental abuse from his parents, drug and alcohol addiction and depression – factors they say contributed to the murders.

Prosecutors could wrap up their case early next week. The jury is expected to hear testimony from 90 witnesses, extending the trial another two weeks.

Borizov is charged with murder, conspiracy and solicitation. Nodarse, formerly of Countryside, faces 45 years to life in prison and will be sentenced after the conclusion of the Borizov trial.