A Darien man accused of slashing the throat of his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend was held without bail Monday on charges of aggravated kidnapping and first-degree murder.
Joseph Spitalli, 34, is charged with the early Friday slaying of Teymur Huseynli, 31. Prosecutors said Spitalli grabbed the victim from behind and slashed his throat during a confrontation on the 7700 block of Wildwood Court in Darien.
The killing happened as Spitalli's ex-girlfriend watched helplessly. She told police Spitalli jumped Huseynli as the victim was leaving her apartment with her about 12:25 a.m.
Afterward, Spitalli pulled the woman into a car and repeatedly threatened to kill her and her daughter if she didn't follow his instructions, Assistant State's Attorney Mike Pawl said at a bond hearing.
Pawl said Spitalli concocted a "ridiculous" story that two black men committed the attack. He said Spitalli drove around for a while and, at one point, threw the murder weapon from the window. Police later recovered the knife.
Spitalli eventually drove to his parents' home in an unincorporated area near Darien, where they called 911 and gave the story about two black men. It wasn't until authorities arrived that the woman was able to separate from Spitalli and give her account implicating him.
"To say she is frightened of this defendant is an understatement of all understatements," Pawl told DuPage County Judge George Bakalis. "He just murdered her boyfriend right in front of her eyes."
Spitalli gave varying accounts to police. Prosecutors said he initially blamed the attack on two black men, then claimed his ex-girlfriend murdered Huseynli.
Spitalli then told police he had gone to the woman's apartment to commit burglary and "blacked out" when he ran into the couple and saw her kiss Huseynli. Finally, the 6-foot-4 inch, 300-pound Spitalli admitted he put the knife to Huseynli's throat to scare him and accidentally cut him when the woman tried to intervene, prosecutors said.
According to court records, Huseynli's throat was slashed so deeply it severed his windpipe and exposed his vertebrae.
Prosecutors said Spitalli and the woman ended their relationship about three months ago.
The woman reported that Spitalli was abusive when they were dating and would lock her in a bathroom or bedroom to prevent her from calling police. In September, she sought an order of protection from Spitalli, who continued to send her unwanted text messages, but the order was denied, according to prosecutors and court records.
In October, Spitalli returned to the woman's apartment and confronted Huseynli about their relationship, prosecutors said.
Bakalis appointed Assistant Public Defender George Ford to represent Spitalli. Ford said the defendant works at a fast-food restaurant and had no prior criminal convictions. He said Spitalli is single but has family in the area.
"He is presumed innocent," Ford told the judge. "You heard there's been different stories given by the witness."
Bakalis ordered Spitalli held without bail, citing the safety of his former girlfriend and her child. The judge also barred him from having any contact with them while in custody.
Spitalli, of the 7500 block of Country Lane, could face natural life in prison if convicted. His next court date is Dec. 17 in front of Judge Daniel Guerin.