Despite testifying against the mastermind of a triple murder, gunman Jacob Nodarse gets a tough sentence. That was welcome news for the victims' family. Charlie Wojciechowski reports.
The man who confessed to killing three members of a Darien family in 2010 was sentenced Monday to 75 years in prison.
"When you shattered that glass you shattered that family," the judge said.
Jacob Nodarse pleaded guilty but mentally ill to murder after prosecutors said his friend, Johnny Borizov, persuaded him to kill Jeffrey, Lori and Michael Kramer.
Defense attorneys argued during Borizov's trial that Nodarse carried out the shooting on his own, but DuPage County prosecutors contended that Borizov pressured Nodarse into attacking his ex-girlfriend in the midst of their bitter child custody battle.
Nodarse testified against Borizov at his trial as part of a plea deal, and gave a statement Monday in court.
"Mike was the best friend I ever had and I violently slaughtered him and his parents," he said. "It's ultimately my fault for not taking responsibility for who I am."
Nodarse said he will never be able to forgive himself for what happened and doesn't feel worthy of forgiveness from others.
"I am not the victim of this tragedy, he said, "I'm the cause of this tragedy."
Judy Pokorny, whose son, daughter-in-law and grandson was killed by Nodarse, said that after years of faithfully attending courtroom hearings, the family can seek closure and "live a little."
"I'm happy that finally this is over, we can go on with our lives somewhat, we're looking forward to Anthony and Angela's happy future, we miss and always will miss Lauri and Jeff and Mike, they'll always be with us, they're here with us now and they're celebrating with us,"
In July Borizov was sentenced to three consecutive sentences of natural life in prison without the possibility of parole for his role in orchestrating the murders. A DuPage County jury deliberated for fewer than three hours in May before convicting the Willow Springs man in the shooting deaths.
After the verdict, Borizov's family said a "grave injustice was done" and alleged that much of what was said in court was false.
Prosecutors said Borizov's triple murder conviction mandated life in prison.
"Today, Mr. Borizov was sentenced to the maximum allowable sentence under the law, a sentence he richly deserves," DuPage County State's Attorney Bob Berlin said in a statement. "This has been an extremely difficult case."
The trial was the first in the Chicago area to allow cameras in court during testimony.