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Expert: Killer had mental problems but sane at time of slayings

Boris Borizov testifies during trial his brother Johnny Borizov DuPage County Courthouse WheatIll. Tuesday May 7  2013.  Johnny

Boris Borizov testifies during the trial of his brother Johnny Borizov at the DuPage County Courthouse in Wheaton, Ill., on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Johnny Borizov, of Willow Springs, is charged with murder, solicitation and conspiracy in the deaths of Jeffrey and Lori Kramer and their son Michael on March 2, 2010. Authorities allege that Borizov goaded Jacob Nodarse into killing the Kramers. (Alex Garcia/Pool ORG XMIT: CHI1305071256119910

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Updated: June 9, 2013 6:24AM

Jacob Nodarse suffered from a host of mental problems but was sane when he gunned down three members of a Darien family — then implicated Johnny Borizov in the slayings, a psychologist testified Tuesday.

Nodarse also was a “rather passive” person who was easily manipulated, said John Murray, a forensic psychologist who evaluated him following his arrest for the March 2, 2010, killings.

“That made him more vulnerable to being intimidated by someone else,” said Murray, who concluded Nodarse was “very intimidated” by Borizov.

The 31-year-old Borizov is being tried on murder and murder solicitation charges for allegedly pressuring Nodarse to kill Borizov’s former girlfriend, Angela Kramer, and her family.

DuPage County prosecutors contend Borizov wanted the family slain so he could gain sole custody of the couple’s 13-month-old son.

Nodarse, now 26, has pleaded guilty to carrying out the attack that killed Angela’s parents, Jeffrey and Lori Kramer, and her 20-year-old brother, Michael. Angela survived the 3 a.m. shooting rampage in her parents’ home by hiding in a closet.

Nodarse earlier testified Borizov warned him to carry out the murders or he and his family would be slain.

Nodarse had bipolar disorder and severe depression, but was sane when he killed the Kramers, believing he had no other option, Murray told jurors hearing the trial.

“He was very focused on the threats,” Murray said of Nodarse.

After the killings, Nodarse at times lost touch with reality as he drove to Florida, imagining that he was being followed by unmarked police cars, Murray said.

But videotaped interrogations of Nodarse by police in Florida following his arrest show Nodarse wasn’t psychotic when he tied Borizov to the slayings, Murray said.

“He was not delusional,” Murray said.

A later psychological evaluation of Nodarse in the DuPage County Jail, however, showed he likely was “exaggerating” the symptoms of his mental illnesses, Murray said.

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