Man set to testify how fellow inmate wanted him to kill prosecutor
By Jon Seidel Sun-Times Media firstname.lastname@example.org October 4, 2011 5:48PM
Updated: October 4, 2011 7:46PM
A Frankfort man’s jailhouse scheme to have a Will County prosecutor killed included the murder of at least one more person and a fake confession letter designed to clear his name, according to courtroom testimony.
But the man 36-year-old Brian Trainauskas hoped would carry out the plot, 47-year-old Samuel L. Wright of Wilmington, instead wore a wire in the Will County Jail where they were inmates, police said, derailing Trainauskas’ plan.
Wright’s cooperation also helped him land a 5-year prison sentence Tuesday from Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak. Originally charged in January with residential burglary in an unrelated case and facing as many as 30 years behind bars, Wright instead pleaded guilty to attempted burglary.
“What you did was great,” Bertani-Tomczak said.
Will County detectives said they began working with Wright after prosecutors first learned from him of the threat from Trainauskas, who had already been jailed for the January 2009 murder of Monica Timar.
“He felt that Brian Trainauskas was completely serious,” Det. Anthony Policandriotes said.
So Wright wore a wire in the jail May 10 and 11, police said, and spoke to Trainauskas. At the judge’s urging, police testified Trainauskas wanted Wright to kidnap a third party and force that person to write a letter confessing to Timar’s murder.
Then he expected Wright to kill the third party and Trainauskas’ prosecutor, police testified. Trainauskas was charged with solicitation of murder in August.
Now, Policandriotes said, prosecutors also have Trainauskas on tape talking about Timar’s murder. Wright will be expected to testify against Trainauskas if he goes to trial for her death or the murder-for-hire plot.
“Mr. Trainauskas discussed specifically what he did,” Policandriotes said.
Timar’s body was found wrapped in a comforter in the trunk of her 2007 Ford Mustang in the 21000 block of 78th Avenue, and police said she was shot in the back of the head.
Prosecutors said Trainauskas initially told police he found Timar dead in his bathroom, panicked and put her body in her vehicle. But he was arrested after investigators determined she could not have shot herself.
Trainauskas later said Timar wanted to commit suicide, so he “called her bluff” and grabbed a shotgun. He told police that the two then struggled with the gun until Trainauskas got control of it, and the gun went off.
Though Wright helped police gather evidence in the two cases, officers said he never asked for help with his burglary case. They said they broached the subject themselves and told him no promises could be made.
A special prosecutor, meanwhile, asked Bertani-Tomczak to give Wright 10 years in prison. Despite his cooperation with police, Wright has at least nine previous burglary convictions.
Several of Wright’s friends told the judge he is a kind, helpful and thoughtful person who volunteered at his church.
Wright himself told the judge the experience with Trainauskas changed his life dramatically. He apologized for his past crimes and said she’d never regret giving him a lighter sentence.
“I hope you’re telling the truth,” Bertani-Tomczak said.