The Chicago Family Law Blog

Was Child Custody Battle At Center Of Darien Slayings?

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Prosecutors say Jacob Nodarse stalked and murdered 50-year-old Jeff Kramer, his 48-year-old wife Lori Kramer and their 20-year-old son Michael Kramer at close range, as reported by the Chicago Daily Herald. Angela Kramer, a 25-year-old mother, survived the shooting by hiding in an upstairs closet.

Michael's girlfriend (identified only as Tina) and another son, Anthony Kramer, also survived the attack.

But while Mr. Kramer allegedly pulled the trigger, prosecutors say he did so at the behest of his friend Johnny Borizov, Angela's ex-boyfriend and the father of her 13-month-old son.

Angela lived to witness the execution-style murder of more than half of her family even though she may have been the prime target. Mr. Borizov stands accused of masterminding the murders as revenge for a reportedly bitter child custody battle with her, and by extension her family.

But there's plenty of disagreement over this theory.

Illinois family law attorney Natalie Stec, who represents Borizov in his custody case, said it was not the "heated battle" prosecutors say it was. Ms. Stec told reporters that Angela agreed to shared custody of their son and that Mr. Borizov signed a voluntary paternity acknowledgment.

Angela filed an order of protection against Mr. Borizov after the murders. Custody documents cited in the article indicate that she believed shared custody and parental duties were in the child's best interest.  

Ms. Stec's law partner, Illinois family lawyer Marc Wolfe, asserts that prosecutors are going after an innocent man and that Mr. Nodarse is mentally disturbed and acted alone:

"I don't see any proof here whatsoever. These are just allegations and, frankly, very shaky allegations."

Related Resources:

  • Young Mother Blames Herself for Darien Murders (Chicago Sun-Times) 
  • Levi Johnston May Sue Palin Family for Joint Custody of Tripp (Celebrity Justice)
  • Directory of Chicago Family Law Attorneys (FindLaw)

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