In the days leading up to the killings of his wife and three children, an Illinois man accused in the deaths spent nearly $5,000 at a strip club and visited a gun range for target practice, witnesses testified Thursday at his murder trial.
Christopher Vaughn of Oswego is charged with first-degree murder. Prosecutors allege he shot and killed his family as they sat buckled into their SUV in June 2007 as part of a scheme to start a new life in Canada.
Defense attorneys claim it was Vaughn's wife who was behind the killings, arguing that she shot him and the children before killing herself. Vaughn had minor gunshot wounds to his wrist and leg.
Thursday's testimony detailed Vaughn's movements in the days leading up to the killings. Prosecutors also sought to undermine the claim that Vaughn's wife, Kimberly, was behind the killings by presenting emails she had written in the months before she died in which she spoke lovingly of her husband.
Former exotic dancer Chrystal Miller testified that Vaughn visited the club where she worked several times in June 2007 for private dances. She remembered Vaughn as "very timid" and polite, saying he wanted to talk more than watch her dance. She said Vaughn told her that he was single with no children.
"I remember his specifically saying he did not have a family life," she said.
She also recalled a strange remark he made.
"I remember him referencing the future, about knowing about the future," Miller said.
A manager of the club, Scores in Stone Park, told the court Vaughn spent a total of $4,788 on dances and drinks over two nights there that June.
In other testimony Thursday, the owner of a Plainfield shooting range said Vaughn came there for target practice twice in June 2007, including the night before the slayings, when he spent about 20 minutes firing what appeared to be a handgun at a target.