Testimony begins in Hinsdale murder case

During the opening day of Dominic Sanders' trial on charges he killed a Hinsdale woman in a 2017 home invasion, prosecutors and the defense agreed Wednesday on just two things: the defendant was in Hinsdale that day, and he took two family-heirloom rings from Urban's home.

Sanders, 32, of University Park, faces charges of first-degree murder, home invasion, armed robbery and residential burglary stemming from the May 4, 2017 slaying of 50-year-old Andrea Urban. The charges allege Sanders stabbed Urban to death during a daytime break-in of her residence.

In his opening statement Wednesday, Assistant DuPage County State's Attorney Bernie Murray spelled out the evidence against Sanders, including witnesses who reported seeing a man in dark clothing and a reflective vest walking around the area that day; surveillance videos showing that man; a car seen in the area that was traced to Sanders; and evidence Sanders pawned rings stolen from Urban.

Experts will testify that blood found on the laces of shoes Sanders was wearing when he was arrested, 20 days after the crime, matches that of Urban, he added.

"The tranquility of that day was shattered by this man," Murray said of Sanders,

But Assistant Public Defender Teresa Rioux told jurors the front door to Urban's home was open when Sanders arrived, and he took the rings off a half-wall to the left of the entrance.

"You were chosen as jurors because you know things are not always as they appear to be," she said.

Urban's son, Alexander Kuznetsov, was the first to testify.

He described finding his mother's body on the kitchen floor when he arrived home from classes at Hinsdale Central High School.

At first he thought someone had spilled red paint on the floor, he testified. His mother's leggings had been pulled down around her knees, he added.

After searching the house to make sure his little sister was not there, he called police.

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Hinsdale police investigate slaying of Andrea Urban in May 2017. Daily Herald file photo, May 2017
Andrea Urban of Hinsdale.
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