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updated: 5/4/2011 6:03 PM

Man who researched death penalty indicted in Oak Brook murder

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  • Dmitry Smirnov

    Dmitry Smirnov


The Canadian man accused of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend in Oak Brook last month after researching the death penalty has been indicted by a DuPage County grand jury, authorities said Wednesday.

Dmitry Smirnov, 20, of Surrey, British Columbia, was indicted on five counts of first-degree murder in the April 13 slaying of 36-year-old Jitka Vesel of Westmont. Smirnov is expected to be arraigned next week.

Vesel was shot several times in the head and body as she left an office at 122 W. 22nd St. in Oak Brook about 9 p.m. Prosecutors said the confrontation happened after Smirnov traced her to the location using a tracking device glued to the bottom of her vehicle. At one point during the attack, they said, he reloaded his .40-caliber handgun and continued firing.

Prosecutors said Smirnov and Vesel met in 2008 through an online dating service and were involved in a relationship in Illinois. According to the allegations, Smirnov went back to Canada when Vesel reunited with a former boyfriend, though he continued to call her and send emails.

About three weeks before Vesel's killing, authorities said, Smirnov traveled to Seattle and bought a firearm and ammunition, then returned to the Chicago area and used the Internet to find Vesel's new address. Prosecutors said a laptop computer recovered from his vehicle showed he also researched the death penalty, which had been abolished in Illinois just a month earlier.

Authorities said Smirnov fled the scene of the killing, but later that day contacted police, surrendered, and gave a video-recorded confession.

A public defender has been appointed to represent Smirnov, who identified himself in court last month as a member of the Canadian military.

Smirnov's next court date is Monday in front of Judge Blanche Hill Fawell. He remains in the county jail without bond.