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Complete coverage of the Johnny Borizov murder trial

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

By DANNY CIAMPRONE - Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2013

WHEATON – Jacob Nodarse's credibility faced an aggressive attack Tuesday from defense attorneys in the trial of Johnny Borizov, who stands accused of orchestrating the murders of Lori, Jeff and Michael Kramer in 2010.

Defense attorney Richard Kling repeatedly asked Nodarse about his drug use, alcohol abuse and mental state surrounding the night of the March 2 murders at the Kramer home in Darien.

On Tuesday, the fifth day of trial, Nodarse admitted he told a doctor he thought someone else was entering the Kramer home while he waited in the car. He said that's when he "heard the shots."

"That's what I believed three days after the crime before I realized my mind was trying to protect itself," said Nodarse, who pleaded guilty but mentall ill to the murders in 2011.

Despite the barrage of questions, Nodarse displayed the same calm, detached demeanor he had since the start of his testimony last week. He sighed and rested his head on his hand, but sometimes showed aggravation.

Prosecutors allege Borizov manipulated his mentally ill friend to commit the murders because of a bitter custody battle that was taking place at the time with his girlfriend, Angela Kramer, over their son, Nicholas.

Nodarse said he frequently talked with Borizov on the phone, exchanged texts and went on outings with him and Nicholas. At one point, Nodarse said he was seeing Borizov almost every day.

A month before the Kramers were murdered, Nodarse said Borizov told him to delete all the text messages on his phone, but could not say what the messages consisted of.

"[Borizov] was careful not to say anything extremely incriminating besides stuff like, 'Jacob, we have to talk about something immediately,'" Nodarse said.

Nodarse, 26, faces 45 years to life in prison and will be sentenced after the conclusion of the Borizov trial, which could last four weeks. Borizov, 31, is charged with murder, conspiracy and solicitation.