Jury acquits Elk Grove Village man of involuntary manslaughter in wife's death
The Rolling Meadows jury hearing the retrial of an Elk Grove Village man charged in the 2018 death of his wife accomplished something the first jury could not -- it delivered a verdict.
Seven men and five women on Monday acquitted Timothy Zondlo, 55, who had been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his wife, Karyn, the 46-year-old mother of their two children.
During Zondlo's first trial last month, jurors deliberated more than three days without reaching a verdict, prompting Cook County Judge Joseph Cataldo to declare a mistrial. Zondlo's second trial concluded after a little more than three hours of jury deliberations.
"We're all very happy," Assistant Cook County Public Defender Caroline Glennon said after announcement of the verdict.
Karyn Zondlo, who was deaf, died of a subdural hematoma, or bleeding on the brain, resulting from blunt-force trauma, one day after being admitted to Amita Health Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village. Glennon and co-counsel Bailee Meyers said her death was accidental. They say she suffered a fatal injury after her husband either pushed her out of the way of a storage bin falling off a shelf in the couple's garage or fell backward into her as he attempted to lift the heavy bin onto a shelf.
According to defense attorneys, Zondlo, who also is deaf, said the accident caused his wife to strike her head on a wall.
Prosecutors said Zondlo behaved recklessly, causing his wife's fatal injury. They say the inconsistent accounts he offered to police were evidence of guilt.
During the first trial, the couple's sons testified for the prosecution. The older son, John, who was 15 at the time of his mother's death, testified that on the day she was injured, he was sitting at the kitchen table when heard a noise from the garage. He testified his parents entered the kitchen from the garage moments later. Soon after, John Zondlo, now 18, said he saw his mother stand on a stool to reach into an upper kitchen cabinet. He testified his father pulled his mother down from the stool.
Moments later, according to John Zondlo's testimony during the first trial, he observed his dad push his mom into the living room. Peeking into the living room, John said, he saw his mother lying on the ground. Timothy Zondlo then instructed John to call 911.