Both wearing yellow jumpsuits designating isolation from the rest of the DuPage County jail population, Johnny Borizov and Jacob Nodarse were a study in contrasts when they appeared in bond court Sunday morning.
Johnny Borizov appeared confident, even smiling once at his own attorney, and looking directly at the assistant state's attorney who was reciting the specifics of the case. Jacob Nodarse was apprehensive, sullen, staring downward and never moving during his hearing.
A judge denied bond for both.
DuPage County Prosector Jeff Muntz said Borizov, 28, had "a dislike for the Kramer family" over "a heated child custody battle." On Feb. 25, the same day Nodarse quit his job at the BMW Naperville dealership, Borizov had a meeting with Nodarse "to encourage Jacob Nodarse to commit this offense. The primary targets were Michael and Angela Kramer," Muntz said.
Once Nodarse had allegedly smashed a living room window with a hammer, he shot at Michael first, killing him near the kitchen where Michael retreated to get a knife to defend himself, the prosecutor said. Nodarse shot Jeffrey on first floor and Lori on the landing. He searched the house for Angela, but she was hiding in the closet of her second floor bedroom, calling 911 to say she heard "10 shots fired".
Nodarse gave a "detailed confession" in Florida," according to the prosecutor. "He said he knew they were all dead because he fired a gunshot into each of their heads."
Once Nodarse was brought back to Darien, they put him in or near where Borizov was being held and their conversations were secretly recorded. "Johnny Borizov makes certain admissions on the audio tape," Muntz added.
Borizov's attorney Marc Wolfe calls the charges "ridiculous ... they are shaky allegations." Borizov has no criminal record.
"What has he ever done? Nothing," Wolfe said.
"What he deserves is a gold star! He saved a child in an auto accident two years ago." Wolfe argued that the entire case is based on what Jacob has said, and there is no basis even to charge Borizov, let alone deny him bail.
But prosecutors countered that they do have evidence that Nodarse tried to communicate with Borizov just hours after the crime, leaving a message on his cell phone.
"The caller states, 'This is Jake and I'm still driving and being followed,'" Muntz told the judge.
The call came from a prepaid cell phone that was tracked to northern Florida, the prosecutor said.
Randy Ruekert, who is representing Nodarse, said, "He's 23 years old and never been arrested. I've kind of got to shake my head about what's going on."
Prosecutors say Nodarse told them where to find a gun and clothing he threw away after the crime -- and they believe the weapon they recovered was used in the murders.