Expert: Bloody prints at Elgin murder 'consistent' with suspect's shoes

  • Paul A. Johnson

    Paul A. Johnson

  • Lisa Koziol-Ellis

    Lisa Koziol-Ellis

 
 
Updated 5/14/2015 7:01 PM

A forensic scientist testified Thursday that bloody shoe prints on the wood floor and on a stuffed animal at Lisa Koziol-Ellis' Elgin townhouse resembled the tread marks on a pair of Nike Air Max shoes worn by Paul Johnson the day of her murder.

Koziol-Ellis, 33, was stabbed more than 50 times. Her body was discovered by her husband who came home from work at about 2:30 a.m. March 2, 2013.

 

Johnson, 36, faces life in prison if convicted. He claims his half-brother killed Koziol-Ellis and that Johnson, out of "blind loyalty" helped clean up the crime scene, three doors down from where Johnson lived.

Patrick Powers, an Illinois State Police forensic scientist for 33 years, testified that the markings on a stuffed bunny and wood floor were "consistent" with treads on the shoes.

However, authorities have not recovered the shoes. A surveillance recording from a nearby Walgreens the night of the crime shows Johnson and half-brother Harry Dobrowolski buying beer, and Johnson wearing Air Max shoes, a Nike shoe expert testified earlier this week.

Elgin police bought a pair of Air Max shoes, which Powers used to make impressions and compare them to evidence collected by police.

"All those shapes are consistent with those shoes," Powers said, showing jurors a slideshow.

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One slide clearly showed the sole's "S" pattern on the stuffed rabbit's ear.

Prosecutors argue that Johnson, who lived three doors down from Koziol-Ellis in the Garden Quarter complex on the city's near west side, broke into the home to burglarize it and ended up killing her. Koziol-Ellis, an artist who went by the nickname of Foxy Goat, and her husband moved to Elgin from Chicago just days before her murder.

Jennifer Thomsen, who dated Johnson from November 2012 to May 2013, testified she met Johnson at about 8 a.m. March 2, 2013, outside an Elgin bank where she was about to start her shift.

Johnson said he was headed to go work out, but he was wearing his work boots instead of Air Max gym shoes, Thomsen testified.

But Assistant Public Defender Julia Yetter noted that Johnson worked out barefoot at a mixed martial arts studio.

Prosecutors say Johnson never went to the gym; instead, he did Internet searches on his phone inquiring as to how long it usually took authorities to process DNA and fingerprints from a crime scene.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Dr. Larry Blum, a forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on Koziol-Ellis, reviewed graphic and gruesome photos of her injuries, which included 40 stab wounds to her head and neck.

The trial before Judge Susan Clancy Boles is expected to end early next week.

Friday, prosecutors are expected to play an audio recording of a conversation between Dobrowolski and Johnson in which prosecutors say Johnson implicates himself.

Dobrowolski died of a drug overdose in May 2014.

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