Cable guy found guilty in rape, strangulation of Comcast customer
BY STEFANO ESPOSITO AND MITCH DUDEK Staff Reporters May 13, 2013 2:56PM
Updated: May 13, 2013 11:51PM
A jury on Monday evening found a former cable repairman guilty of strangling a 23-year-old woman who let him into her Southwest Side home to fix her Internet service in 2006.
Jurors convicted Anthony Triplett, 32, of first-degree murder in the commission of a rape and robbery in the death of Urszula Sakowska.
“I hope he never will leave jail,” Grzegorz Magiera, 35, who was engaged to marry Sakowska, said outside the courtroom after the verdict.
Triplett could face life in prison when he is sentenced at a later date.
Prosecutors told jurors that at the time of Sakowska’s death, Triplett was a suspect in the rape and strangulation of Janet Ordidge, 39, who was killed seven weeks earlier in her Hyde Park home. Laboratory results on DNA linking Triplett to Ordidge came back shortly after Sakowska’s death. Both women were found in their bathtubs. Triplett was charged in Ordidge’s death, which has yet to go to trial.
After hearing Monday’s verdict, Ordidge’s relatives said, “One more time. Now we need to convict him one more time.”
Jurors heard evidence about how Triplett, who worked for a company that was subcontracted by Comcast, raped, robbed and strangled Sakowska.
Triplett’s DNA was found in her mouth, and his coat was stained with her blood, said prosecutors, who claimed in closing arguments Monday that Triplett got his thrills from watching his victims die.
“As he strangles them, he looks them right in the eye and sees the light go out,” assistant state’s attorney Brian Sexton said.
Triplett’s attorney, Jack Rimland, countered by suggesting that investigators were so focused on Triplett that they ignored other possible leads. He also questioned the quality of DNA evidence.
During the nine-day trial, prosecutors used Ordidge’s death to show an alleged pattern in Triplett’s behavior. Triplett had been questioned by police three times after Ordidge was strangled but he was never detained, according to court testimony. Before reaching a verdict, jurors asked to see transcripts of Triplett’s testimony from earlier this week.
Rimland told jurors it made no sense for Triplett to kill Sakowska.
“Under the circumstances, knowing he is under such close scrutiny, does it really make sense that this man would go out and leave his calling card a second time?” Rimland said.
But Sexton countered that Triplett simply couldn’t help himself.
Sexton urged jurors to think not of the accused but of Sakowska.
“She still speaks to us from the grave — the DNA that tells us: This is my killer,” Sexton said.