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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.

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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.

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