A police officer acknowledged Thursday that triple-murder suspect Johnny Borizov made no statements implicating co-defendant Jacob Nodarse, who confessed after being told he was "sold out" by Borizov.
Darien Sgt. David Stock, who testified earlier at Borizov's trial, was called back to the stand as the defense tried to show Nodarse was prompted to finger Borizov as the mastermind of the March 2010 killings in Darien.
Stock said authorities had no DNA or fingerprints and no statements from Borizov regarding Nodarse when Nodarse was arrested and interrogated in Florida a day after the murders.
On a recording of the interrogation, another officer tells Nodarse, "Johnny Borizov sold you out."
"Is there hard evidence of that?" Nodarse asks.
"Ha, there's video, my friend," the officer responds.
Stock said it's common, proper and legal for police to lie during interrogations to obtain information.
However, police had briefly spoken to Borizov, who gave an alibi and asked for a lawyer. They also had video statements from several other people, prosecutors said in arguing against the line of questioning outside the presence of the jury.
Borizov, 31, of Willow Springs, is accused of persuading Nodarse to fatally shoot Michael Kramer, 20, and his parents, Jeffrey and Lori Kramer, during a break-in at their Darien home. At the time, Borizov was locked in a child-custody battle with Michael Kramer's sister, who survived by hiding in a closet.
Nodarse testified in April that he killed the Kramers after weeks of planning with Borizov.
He said he initially denied involvement because he was convinced Borizov led an underground criminal enterprise that worked with "dirty cops." Nodarse said he believed his own family was in danger if he didn't follow Borizov's instructions.
Nodarse, who has a history of mental illness and drug abuse, is the key witness against Borizov, who was seen on video at a casino with his brother at the time of the murders. Borizov's brother, Boris, and his father, Cvetko, testified earlier this week that the casino trip was a "tradition" for celebrating several family members' birthdays early in the year.
On Thursday, the defense called Nodarse's former roommate, Joseph Jereb, who said Nodarse wasn't the type to let himself be pushed around. Borizov's girlfriend at the time of the murders, Robin Heinzelman, also testified Nodarse spent a lot of time with Borizov and never appeared intimidated.
Nodarse, 26, formerly of Countryside, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to one count of murder and is awaiting sentencing. The Borizov trial resumes Friday.