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Mental fitness of accused Darien slaying gunman to be evaluated
By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff

Jacob Nodarse


Lori and Jeff Kramer


Mike Kramer


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Published: 4/22/2010 11:11 AM | Updated: 4/22/2010 11:38 PM

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A DuPage County judge ordered a complete mental health evaluation Thursday for a suspect in last month's triple Darien slaying.

Circuit Judge John Kinsella is allowing clinical and forensic psychologist John Murray to interview Jacob Nodarse for a fitness and sanity evaluation, which prosecutors and the defense attorney agreed is needed.

"We have an issue with fitness," Prosecutor Joseph Ruggiero said. "We believe there's a bona fide doubt."

Nodarse, the man suspected of pulling the trigger, is facing a 22-count felony indictment alleging first-degree murder, conspiracy and home invasion.

The 24-year-old Countryside man also is charged with obstructing justice for fleeing to Florida to avoid arrest. Nodarse has some history of mental instability, including a prior suicide attempt and hospitalization, but attorneys declined to elaborate.

"At his initial bond hearing, I stated I just have to shake my head at all of this and it's the same today," defense attorney Steven "Randy" Rueckert said. "I want him to be evaluated before I make any other decision in the case."

Nodarse confessed to opening fire about 3 a.m. March 2 after using a hammer to shatter the Kramer family's window, prosecutors said.

They said his friend, Johnny Borizov, 28, of Willow Springs, convinced Nodarse to carry out a plan to kill members of his ex-girlfriend's family as the former couple battled over custody of their infant son.

Angela Kramer, 25, survived after dialing 911 while hiding in a closet. Her parents, Jeffrey and Lori, and their 20-year-old son, Mike, were killed.

Borizov also is facing first-degree murder charges. His attorney, Marc Wolfe, has said authorities lack any evidence against Borizov other than unreliable statements from Nodarse, whom Wolfe described as mentally unstable.

Borizov and Nodarse remain held without bond in the DuPage County jail. Both have pleaded not guilty and have nonviolent criminal records.