Judge agrees to cameras in Darien triple murder case
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org April 11, 2013 1:54PM
Updated: May 13, 2013 6:29AM
In a legal first for the Chicago area, a DuPage County judge formally agreed Thursday to allow media cameras to record Johnny Borizov’s upcoming triple murder trial.
But to make the two cameras less obtrusive to jurors and witnesses, Judge Daniel Guerin ordered the removal of three light bulbs from the ceiling above the rear corner where the cameras will be located.
Without the lights, the cameras — one video, one still — will be virtually invisible in the back of the 140-seat Wheaton courtroom, Guerin said.
“I sat in the witness box and I couldn’t see the camera,” Guerin said during a final hearing on the issue.
The Illinois Supreme Court moved last year to allow broader media access to courtroom proceedings, including allowing cameras to record trials.
Several Illinois counties already have conducted trials that included video coverage, but Borizov’s will be the first such trial in the seven-county Chicago metro area.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors initially objected to the cameras, but after several hearings — and instructions by Guerin about the placement of the cameras — offered no objections Thursday.
A handful of brief pre-trial hearings in DuPage County already have been filmed without problems or objections.
Calling the move towards expanded media coverage “a step forward,” the county’s chief judge said he’s optimistic the trial will proceed smoothly.
“We’re looking forward to it,” said Judge John Elsner.
The Supreme Court rules limit video coverage of trials, including prohibiting showing jurors in the courtroom.
Borizov faces murder and murder solicitation charges for allegedly arranging the March 2, 2010 fatal shootings of Jeffrey Kramer, his wife, Lori, and their 20-year-old son, Michael.
The 32-year-old Countryside man was involved at the time in a bitter child custody dispute with the Kramers’ adult daughter, Angela, whom prosecutors contend also was targeted in the shooting spree inside her parents’ Darien home.
Angela Kramer survived by hiding in a closet and is expected to be a crucial witness against her former boyfriend, with whom she has a now 4-year-old son.
Another critical witness will be admitted gunman Jacob Nodarse, who has pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murdering Jeffrey Kramer.
In his plea deal, he agreed to testify against Borizov, whom he contends persuaded him to carry out the killings.