A Downers Grove woman was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for blasting her boyfriend with a shotgun -- a crime authorities said was sparked in part by a dirty dish.
The shooting happened last February after 44-year-old Vickie Podruzek and her boyfriend quarreled about their relationship. Tensions mounted when the victim left out a dirty dish and then threw it when Podruzek put it on his pillow.
That's about the time she grabbed a shotgun from her bedroom. Prosecutors said the victim -- then 43 -- went into another room, slammed the door and was shot as he stood on the other side, sustaining serious injuries to his neck and shoulder.
Police responded to a 911 call around noon and met Podruzek outside the couple's Carpenter Street home. She admitted she "crossed the line" and told officers she "should be punished," Assistant State's Attorney Kirsten King said in court.
Podruzek had no prior criminal history. She faced up to 30 years in prison but received an eight-year term in exchange for pleading guilty to aggravated battery. DuPage County Judge Daniel Guerin accepted the agreement, which requires Podruzek to serve nearly seven years before she's eligible for parole.
Defense attorney Robert Duffy characterized the couple's relationship as "highly destructive" and mutually hostile at times. He said the victim threw the dish at his client, and she made a "very inappropriate decision" in response.
"It's really a tragedy," he said.
In court Wednesday, the judge said the couple had a history of substance abuse and domestic trouble. In one such instance, police were called to the couple's home after the victim went out and bought a steak for himself without buying one for Podruzek, prosecutors have said.