The man charged with being the mastermind behind the March 2010 slayings of three members of a Darien family could stand trial early next year.
DuPage County Judge Daniel Guerin on Tuesday set aside Jan. 29 as a tentative trial date for Johnny Borizov, who is accused in the killings of Jeffrey and Lori Kramer and their 20-year-old son Mike.
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Prosecutors say the Willow Springs man was involved in a bitter child-custody dispute with Jeffrey and Lori Kramer's daughter, Angela, when he enlisted co-defendant Jacob Nodarse to murder her family. The Kramers were fatally shot inside their home after Nodarse broke in through a window about 3 a.m. Angela Kramer survived by hiding in a closet.
After the murders, Nodarse fled to his parents' home in Florida, where he was arrested the next day. Authorities said he later confessed that he killed the Kramers at Borizov's behest.
Borizov maintains he is innocent and has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, conspiracy, solicitation of murder and home invasion. His attorney has said there's no evidence he was involved other than unreliable statements by Nodarse, who has a history of mental illness.
In September, Nodarse, 25, formerly of Countryside, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to first-degree murder in a plea deal that requires him to testify at Borizov's trial. Nodarse faces 45 years to life in prison and will be sentenced sometime after his co-defendant stands trial.
Borizov, 30, remains jailed without bond and is scheduled to return to court Aug. 7.