DuPage prosecutor: Suspect tried to get rid of evidence of Hinsdale slaying
Jurors will hear a phone call DuPage County prosecutors say demonstrates that murder suspect Dominic Sanders tried to get a cousin to destroy evidence that could prove Sanders fatally stabbed Hinsdale resident Andrea Urban on May 4, 2017.
In the call made May 28 of that year, three days after his arrest, Sanders tells his mother to contact his cousin, according to Assistant State's Attorney Cathy DeLaMar, making the argument Tuesday to Judge Brian Telander. When the mother mentions the man's name, he tells her they are not supposed to say it, DeLaMar said.
Later in the 16-minute call, DeLaMar said, Sanders tells his mother that items he wants to get rid of can be found in a gray bucket and on the back of a dining-room chair. When asked how to dispose of them, Sanders says that since it is the Memorial Day holiday, "throw it on the barbecue," DeLaMar said.
She said it was clear from the call he was trying to get rid of clothing he had worn the day he is accused of breaking in and attacking Urban in her house.
Police found a gray plastic storage bin in a search, but no clothing.
One of Sanders' attorneys, senior assistant public defender Teresa Rioux, objected, saying the call is not relevant because Sanders has not been charged with trying to destroy evidence and he said nothing about clothing.
Telander ordered the whole call be played.
Telander also said he will allow prosecutors to show jurors a booking photograph of Sanders in which he is smiling. Rioux said police told him to smile, but prosecutors say that was to show he had a broken tooth.
Telander also denied the defense's request to break the trial in two: one on whether Sanders committed the crime, and a second as to whether the attack was so brutal that he qualifies for an extended prison sentence.
Sanders, 32, of Chicago, is accused of entering Urban's home in midafternoon, stabbing her repeatedly in the head and neck, and stealing several family-heirloom rings. Authorities said in 2017 that he told them he chose the neighborhood because he sold candy there as a child.
Police officers testified Tuesday that several home and business security videos showed a man parking a silver Dodge Charger, putting on a fluorescent safety vest and walking to Urban's home. Videos from a downtown Hinsdale gasoline station, they said, appear to show the same man stopping to buy something. A red-light camera at Ogden Avenue and Wolf Road in nearby Western Springs shows a silver Charger, they said, including its license plate.
Police used that information to find who owned the car -- Sanders -- and his driver's license number and photo. They entered the number into an online system where pawn brokers are required to enter license numbers and other data from customers who pawn items.
Authorities say Sanders pawned two rings and that relatives of Urban identified them as belonging to her.
His trial is due to begin Sept. 24.