Jury Finds Kustok Guilty of Killing Wife

Allan Kustok guilty of fatally shooting wife while she slept in their bed

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    After less than two hours of deliberations, a jury of six men and six women on Tuesday found Allan Kustok guilty of fatally shooting his wife in 2010. Christian Farr reports. (Published Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014)

    After less than two hours of deliberations, a jury of six men and six women on Tuesday found Allan Kustok guilty of fatally shooting his wife in 2010.

    Kustok showed no emotion while the verdict was read. He was found guilty of first-degree murder. His daughter, who testified on his behalf on Monday, was not in the courtroom.

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    Kustok, 63, was convicted of shooting Anita "Jeanie" Kustok in the face with a .357-caliber revolver while she slept in their bed. He has contended that his wife shot herself.

    "The jury has spoken," Kustok's sister, Sharon Crooks, said with tears in her eyes. "Two families are destroyed. There is no victor here. We all loved Jeanie deeply."

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    "We lost a great sister," Jeanie Kustok's brother, John Runko, said. "Nobody wins in this. "Justice was served."

    Prosecutor Jennifer Gonzalez said jurors told her the defense's argument wasn't believable and they didn't buy that Jeanie Kustok wanted the gun for protection.  

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    Kustok faces 45 years to life when sentenced on April 17.

    During closing arguments, Cook County Assistant State's Attorney Jim Papa said blood spatter evidence on Kustok's glasses and clothing proves he shot Anita "Jeanie" Kustok.

    "He had her blood on him," Papa said, noting Kustok had gunshot residue on him while his wife had none.

    Defense attorney Rich Beuke challenged the physical evidence presented by Papa and called the prosecution's case a "crazed conspiracy." He said investigators mishandled evidence, allowing blood to be transferred onto Kustok's glasses and shirt.

    Prosecutors have maintained that the defendant wanted out of his marriage, and had a series of extramarital affairs in the days and weeks before Jeanie Kustok's death.

    "Does it sound like the acts of an innocent man?" Papa asked the jury. Papa said Kustok cheated with five different women and told one woman he was getting divorced. 

    Papa pointed out that Kustok didn't call 911 for paramedics after his wife's death. "He did not pick up the phone and call a single person, didn't even call his children," he said.

    Beuke said Kustok was forthcoming with information and even brought the bloody sheets to the hospital and told police where he purchased the gun.

    Papa accused Kustok of altering the crime scene by moving her body, "trying to destroy the ability for people in law enforcement to figure out what happened."

    Kustok's daughter, Sarah, testified Monday that she does not believe her father killed her mother and said her parents had "the most loving relationship that I've ever witnessed."

    Sarah Kustok, a former Comcast SportsNet Chicago reporter, said she never noticed any problems between her parents and didn't notice any change in her mother's demeanor right before her death.

    When asked by the defense if she thought either her mom committed suicide or her father killed her, Kustok responded, "absolutely not."