Geneva murder defense: Physical evidence lacking

  • Shadwick King

    Shadwick King

Updated 3/13/2015 2:59 PM

Attorneys for Shadwick King, who is accused of Geneva's first murder since 1975, began their defense Thursday arguing there are no witnesses to place King at the scene of where the body of his wife, Kathleen, was found July 6, 2014, on the Union Pacific railroad tracks.

Prosecutors say King, 47, strangled his wife in a jealous rage after learning she was having an emotional affair with a 22-year-old Massachusetts man she met in Army training in spring 2014. After killing her, prosecutors said, he moved her body to the tracks to make it look like an accident.


Kane County Public Defender Kelli Childress has suggested Kathleen, 32, died in an accident and that there is no physical evidence or witnesses tying her client to the scene.

"There is zero evidence at the home linking Mr. King to any offense," Childress argued before Judge James Hallock, in an unsuccessful bid to have him declare King not guilty due to lack of evidence.

King's defense team called three witnesses Friday -- two who were at a townhouse near the tracks and a neighbor who usually walks her dogs in the early morning. None of them said they heard or saw anything unusual that morning, including King's Dodge Durango SUV being driven near the tracks.

Rusty Sullivan, an investigator with the Kane County Major Crimes Task Force, testified that authorities unsuccessfully tried to match tire tracks at several spots at a nearby park that would allow automobile access to the railroad tracks to those of a Dodge Durango. But there were too many tire tracks for a conclusive match.

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"There were definitely multiple tire tracks in various portions of the park," Sullivan said. "There were portions that had multiple tracks on top of one another."

Childress also suggested Geneva police, who had no one on their police force who had investigated a homicide, botched evidence collection. Childress noted that police executed a search warrant in late August 2014 looking for one of Kathleen's pink shirts she may have been wearing the day she died and police didn't realize there were two pink shirts.

Earlier in the day, prosecutors recapped some of the texts sent on Kathleen's phone to the Massachusetts man.

The defense will continue Friday; closing arguments are expected to begin on Monday.

If convicted of murder. King faces a sentence between 20 and 60 years in prison without the possibility of early release. He has been held at the Kane County on $1.5 million bail since his arrest.

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