Round Lake Beach man testifies he only tried to scare romantic rival, then gun went off
Kenneth Seplak testified Monday he accidentally shot and killed a Libertyville man who he said was chasing him on Milwaukee Avenue after a parking lot confrontation.
But Assistant Lake County State's Attorney Jim Newman repeatedly pointed out inconsistencies in Seplak's story during cross examination in front of Judge Mark Levitt, trying to show Seplak was the aggressor when he gunned down David Gorski on Dec. 23, 2016.
The biggest inconsistency came when Seplak told jurors Gorski pushed him to the ground in the parking lot at the AMC Hawthorn 12 movie theater in Vernon Hills about 11 p.m.
Under Newman's cross examination, Seplak said the 30-year-old Gorski "hit" him.
"That's the problem with not telling the truth," Newman said. "When you tell the truth, you only have to worry about one story."
Seplak, 39, of Round Lake Beach, faces life in prison if found guilty on three counts of first-degree murder.
Authorities allege Seplak killed Gorski after Seplak followed Sandy Moreno -- a woman he had been stalking -- to the theater and saw her on a date with Gorski. Authorities said Moreno had rebuffed Seplak's efforts to have their friendship turn sexual. They say Seplak also gave her more than $13,000 in money and gifts over a year.
Newman said previously in court that data collected from Seplak's cellphone shows he drove to the theater and was there when Gorski and Moreno met up. The data also indicates that while Moreno and Gorski were inside the theater, Seplak left and went to his parents' house, where prosecutors believe he grabbed a .38-caliber revolver.
Gorski and Moreno drove separate cars to the theater. Authorities believe Seplak followed Gorski on Milwaukee Avenue, then fired the gun with his left hand out his driver's-side window, hitting Gorski in the right side.
Seplak testified Monday he was driving to Moreno's house when he saw her drive past on Route 176 near Wauconda. He turned around his Chevy Tahoe and followed her to the theater, where he watched her walk inside, he said.
Seplak testified he drove to Round Lake Beach and shoveled his parents' driveway, but returned to the theater after wondering "who she (Moreno) was there with."
Seplak claimed he arrived at the theater 10 minutes before Gorski and Moreno walked out. When Moreno went to her car, Seplak confronted the much larger Gorski.
"When I walked up to him, I said, 'Hey man, I saw you're here with Sandy. What's going on?'" Seplak said.
Seplak said he and Gorski argued until Gorski shoved him to the ground. Seplak ran to his car and tried to drive away, but Gorski chased him in his own vehicle, Seplak said.
When the chase turned onto Milwaukee Avenue, Seplak said, he remembered having a .38-caliber revolver in the center console because he had forgotten to bring it inside. Seplak said he pulled out the gun and showed it to Gorski "to scare him."
Seplak said Gorski tried to force Seplak off the road. While trying to stop the Tahoe from swerving into some trees, the gun discharged, Seplak said.
Seplak said he thought he shot Gorski's vehicle but learned several days later he shot and killed Gorski.