The man charged with murder a suburban mother last month returned to court Monday, entering a plea of not guilty.
Dominic Sanders, 30, showed little emotion during his brief court appearance, denying all charges in the death of 51-year-old Andrea Urban, a crime prosecutors called “vicious” and “senseless.”
Urban’s 17-year-old son discovered his mother dead in the kitchen of her Hinsdale home on May 4.
She had been struck in the head repeatedly and her throat was slashed, authorities said, and a knife broken in two pieces was found in a nearby sink.
Prosecutors said Sanders admitted to police that he was inside the home where the murder occurred and later pawned the victim's wedding rings, but on Monday, he pleaded not guilty to charges of first degree murder, home invasion and armed robbery.
Half a dozen of Urban’s friends attended the hearing, saying they wanted to show support.
“Our friend was brutally murdered,” one woman said. “It's a tragedy and we just really hope justice will be served and we wanted to face the accused.”
Prosecutors said blood was found on Sanders' shoes and they've ordered DNA testing.
“The judge granted their motion to allow the full consumption of the evidence, however I do have the right to bring my own expert in, so he can be testing it along with the state’s witness,” said defense attorney Steven Goldman.
What remains unclear in this case, authorities said, is a motive. Prosecutors said Sanders was captured on home and business security cameras outside the home that day, though it’s unknown if he had any prior connection to Urban.
Urban was an actress, a mother of two and a cancer survivor.
“She has a wide expansive group of friends and people who love her and we’re here for Andrea,” her friend added.
Sanders did not speak during Monday’s appearance, but continually turned around to look at his mother, who was in the courtroom.
He was ordered held without bond last month, with his next appearance scheduled for June 27.