DuPage County prosecutors are working toward a plea deal with a man accused of slaying three members of a Darien family last year at a friend's behest, they said in court Wednesday.
Jacob Nodarse, 24, of Countryside, is one of two men charged in the fatal March 2, 2010, shootings of Jeffrey and Lori Kramer and their 20-year-old son Mike.
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Prosecutors met with Nodarse's attorney in Judge Daniel Guerin's chambers Wednesday to discuss a possible plea agreement, but no action was taken.
Defense attorney Randy Rueckert later told reporters he expects "something's going to happen" when his client returns to court in mid-September.
"We're moving toward a resolution," he said, declining to give any details.
Nodarse is accused of carrying out the slayings on orders of 29-year-old Johnny Borizov of Willow Springs, who was engaged in a bitter child-custody battle with Jeffrey and Lori Kramer's daughter Angela.
Prosecutors say Nodarse confessed he opened fire about 3 a.m. after using a hammer to shatter the Kramer family's window. Jeffrey, Lori and Mike Kramer were shot to death after being roused from sleep; Angela Kramer survived after dialing 911 while hiding in a closet, authorities said.
Nodarse has some history of mental instability, including an earlier suicide attempt and hospitalization. But the court has found him fit to stand trial based on the report of a court-appointed forensic and clinical psychologist.
Rueckert noted Wednesday that being found fit to stand trial would not preclude Nodarse from pleading guilty but mentally ill. He did not say whether such a plea was anticipated -- only that his client is "certainly aware of what's going on" and supports the direction the case appears to be headed.
Both Borizov and Nodarse have pleaded not guilty and remain in the county jail without bond. Neither has a violent criminal record, according to court documents.
Nodarse is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy and home invasion. He also faces a charge of obstructing justice for fleeing to Florida to avoid arrest, authorities said.
Borizov faces charges of first-degree murder, conspiracy, solicitation of murder and home invasion. But his attorney has said there's no evidence other than unreliable statements by Nodarse against Borizov, who was videotaped while gambling at a Joliet riverboat at the time of the killings.
Borizov and Nodarse are scheduled to return to court on Sept. 9 and Sept. 20, respectively. Both turned down recent requests to be interviewed by the Daily Herald.