By Clifford Ward
Special to the Tribune
7:19 PM CDT, May 10, 2013
Johnny Borizov’s day in court Friday ended the same way it began — with rebukes from the judge overseeing his trial on charges that he planned the 2010 murders of a Darien family and convinced a friend to carry out the crime.
When the Willows Springs man walked into the DuPage County courtroom about 15 minutes past the start time Friday morning, Judge Daniel Guerin ordered him up to the bench. The judge said he had learned that Borizov had been “dawdling,” and Guerin warned that if it happened again he would order that guards drag Borizov from the jail, if need be, in order to be on time.
At the close Friday, Borizov frustrated Guerin when Borizov said he could not decide whether to testify in his own defense and wanted the weekend to think it over. The judge, who had just given Borizov 45 minutes to talk over the issue with his attorneys and noted that Borizov has had three years to think about it, pressed him to decide.
When Borizov said a second time that he was unable to, Guerin said he would interpret the indecision as a sign Borizov did not want to testify.
“Those are your words, sir,” Borizov said.
“Don’t play with me, Mr. Borizov,” Guerin replied coolly. “When you’re standing up here talking to the court, don’t get cute.”
Guerin then excused himself for about 10 minutes. After he returned to the bench, the judge said he was “disappointed,” but had decided to give Borizov until Tuesday, when the trial resumes, to decide.
In between those incidents, a defense expert witness testified that he believed Jacob Nodarse was suffering from psychosis on March 2, 2010, when he broke into the Darien residence of Jeffrey and Lori Kramer and shot them to death, along with their son, Michael, 20.
Prosecutors alleged that Borizov masterminded the murders because of his toxic relationship with the Kramers, who are the parents of Borizov’s former girlfriend, Angela Kramer.
Angela Kramer and Borizov have a son, and a brewing child custody battle motivated Borizov to convince a mentally vulnerable Nodarse to commit the killings, prosecutors contend.
But defense attorneys say Nodarse acted of his own volition.
Their expert, a forensic psychiatrist named Dr. Mark Mills, essentially echoed that viewpoint and said Nodarse was “intermittently psychotic” around the time of the murders.
However, Mills said his attempts to personally examine Nodarse were rebuffed by Nodarse’s attorney, forcing him to base his opinion on reports completed by three other mental health providers, as well as other evidence.
Mills faced a rigorous cross-examination from Assistant State’s Attorney Joe Ruggiero, who noted that other professionals who actually examined Nodarse did not reach the same conclusions that Mills did.
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