Victim's 14-year-old daughter testifies at Hinsdale murder trial

The daughter of a slain Hinsdale woman testified Thursday as the murder trial of suspect Dominic Sanders of Chicago entered its third day.

The girl, now 14, testified that she had slept the night before the May 4, 2017, slaying in her mother's bed, as she often did, because her own bed was covered in stuffed animals.

She was familiar with where her mother, Andrea Urban, kept her jewelry — including two family-heirloom rings that authorities say Sanders pawned — in the back of a cabinet compartment in a bedroom dresser, behind other items such as a bag of socks.

Sanders is accused of beating Urban and slashing her throat, using one of her kitchen knives.

Sanders' defense attorney, Teresa Rioux, said he reached inside the home's unlocked front door and took the rings off a half-wall ledge.

The girl's older brother testified Wednesday that his mother did not keep the rings on that ledge. Typically, he placed their mail there, he said.

A DuPage County forensics investigative detective testified that he found a cellphone in the bowl of a toilet, that he tested reddish stains on a kitchen doorjamb to see if they were blood, and that he also tested the front of the dresser for blood. Results of the tests have not been introduced.

Two women testified that they had exchanged text messages with Urban that morning, The last text from Urban was received at 10:17 a.m. An electrician working on a house being built in back of Urban's testified he saw her outside sometime between 9:30 and 10 a.m.

A resident of Urban's neighborhood testified he saw a black man, wearing black clothing and a reflective safety vest, walk past his home that morning. Prosecutors contend Sanders, now 33, was dressed in black and put on such a vest when he came to Hinsdale that morning.

They also contend he drove out of downtown Hinsdale in a silver Dodge Charger after stopping to purchase gasoline. Video was shown Wednesday of a black male in dark clothing, but not a vest, driving a silver Charger, buying gasoline at the Mobil station at Washington Street and Chicago Avenue shortly before 11 a.m.

And a Downers Grove police officer, who is the commander of a countywide major crimes investigation unit, testified about finding the rings at a pawnshop in Melrose Park. The shop had taken photos of the rings and posted identification information on the pawner into a law enforcement database as a matter of routine. That led them to find out there was an arrest warrant on a traffic charge in Will County for Sanders. They arrested him on that warrant at a house in Burr Ridge.

The trial continues Friday.

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Andrea Urban
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