Testimony: Double murder suspect planned to repay mistress, used distinct ammo
A former Algonquin man accused of killing his parents in 2006 for a $2 million inheritance planned to repay his mistress with the money, said he "had no father," was unemotional after their deaths and used a distinct type of .22-caliber bullet in the slayings, according to testimony Monday.
Michael W. Romano, 56, is accused of shooting his father, Nick Romano Sr., 71, and his stepmother, Gloria, 65, at their home between Cary and Crystal Lake in November 2006.
Romano said he discovered their bodies in the early morning hours of Nov. 20, 2006, after he went to their home because they had not answered his calls.
Romano, who was arrested and charged in early 2014 in Las Vegas, owed money to many people, had zero job prospects and wanted his share of his parents' $2 million estate, prosecutors have argued.
On Monday, Romano's former mistress testified that she had an affair with him from about 1991 to 2006 and that Romano called her on Nov. 20, 2006, asking her to let his dog out.
Romano had been questioned for 15 hours by police, and when Lenore Henning went to Romano's home, she found it to be unusually clean.
Henning, a mother of three grown daughters, testified that she loaned Romano some $30,000 over the years and wanted to call off their affair because he had lied to her and others and had not paid her back yet.
While in Romano's house, she found a safety deposit box key with a note inside an envelope that read in part: "Now that you know, you will realize why I did what I did. Enjoy this with your girls," Henning testified.
The note also said "this" would "change her life" and that Romano wished he'd gotten to know Henning's three daughters more, Henning testified.
Under cross examination, she acknowledged that she never saw what was in the safety deposit box and the note from Romano was undated.
Nick Romano Sr. had secretly removed Michael Romano from the will years before his death, prosecutors said.
Henning also testified that Romano was cold and unemotional when he returned from police questioning the day his parents were found and proceeded to check his house -- and her naked body -- for possible eavesdropping devices planted by law enforcement.
Henning also noted Romano's souring relationship with his father, particularly in the summer 2006 when Romano was trying to get disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.
"I have no father," she quoted Romano saying at one point.
Prosecutors said Gloria Romano was shot once and her husband twice, and three .22-caliber cartridges and slugs were recovered from the scene.
Dustin Johnson, an Illinois State Police forensic scientist who specializes in firearms identification, testified that the three rounds of ammunition in the slayings were a .22-caliber, hollow point, Remington "Golden Bullet" variety.
Prosecutors have not recovered the murder weapon, but Johnson ruled out that the three bullets could have been fired by the five guns found at the home of Nick Romano Sr. that used .22-caliber bullets.
Johnson also said the recovered bullets were "consistent" with the same "Golden Bullet" type that prosecutors say Michael Romano asked a friend for before the murders.
Romano's trial began last week and is expected to run through this week. If convicted, he faces life in prison.