A man who pleaded guilty to in connection with the slaying of a Darien family took the stand Thursday to testify against his former friend.
Jacob Nodarse pleaded guilty but mentally ill to the death of Jeffrey Kramer as part of a plea deal and charges for the other two murders were dropped.
Johnny Borizov, 31, faces murder charges in the case. He's accused of persuading Nodarse to kill Kramer, his wife, Lori, and their son, Michael, 20, at the family home in 2010.
Defense attorney Paul DeLuca argued Nodarse carried out the shooting on his own, but DuPage County prosecutors contend that Borizov pressured Nodarse into attacking his ex-girlfriend in the midst of their bitter child custody battle.
Nodarse took the stand shortly before 9 a.m. and answered the prosecution's questions about his childhood in Westmont, stating he left home at 18 because it was an abusive and hostile environment.
After leaving home, Nodarse testified he started using alcohol and drugs, ranging from marijuana and heroin to prescription drugs such as vicodin and methadone.
He says he met Borizov in 2009, who introduced him to numerous people engaging in criminal activity. Nodarse says Borizov told him he'd need to kill someone in order to gain membership into his group.
Nodarse also recounted meeting Michael Kramer, and Kramer's angry reaction when he said he knew Borizov. That lead to an angry phone call where Borizov threatened to kill him, Nodarse testified.
The trial is the first in the Chicago area to allow cameras in court during testimony, although there will be 10 witnesses cameras won't be able to shoot. They also can't capture jurors' faces.