Judge may allow evidence of affair in Kustok murder trial
A Cook County judge indicated Thursday he’s inclined to let prosecutors enter evidence of Allan Kustok’s extramarital affairs once Kustok finally goes to trial.
The Orland Park man is charged with shooting his wife to death more than three years ago.
Circuit Court Judge John Hynes turned down prosecutors’ request to also use at trial evidence of Kustok’s money problems, saying he saw no direct evidence linking Kustok’s “financial turmoil” to a possible motive behind the allegation he murdered Anita “Jeanie” Kustok.
Prosecutors allege that early on the morning of Sept. 29, 2010, in the bedroom of their Orland Park home, Allan Kustok held a revolver just inches from the cheek of his sleeping wife and pulled the trigger. They say he rolled her body up in a robe as well as the top sheet and fitted sheet from their bed, then drove to Palos Community Hospital.
Kustok told police that he awoke to a gunshot and found his wife lying dead on her back with her hands across her chest, a gun held in the right hand.
During a hearing at the Bridgeview courthouse, Hynes said he found relevance in the state’s argument that allegations he engaged in a “number of affairs or attempted extramarital affairs” prior to the shooting might help prosecutors in establishing a motive.
One woman Kustok was alleged to have been seeing said he told her he was “not happy” in his marriage, according to prosecutors.
Hynes also said he would consider allowing the state to introduce postings Kustok made, according to prosecutors, at the website ashleymadison.com, which bills itself as the “world’s leading married dating service for discreet encounters.”
The judge told prosecutors and defense attorneys he is “mindful some of this evidence may place the defendant in a negative light,” and that he wanted to see the evidence first-hand before making a final decision on whether to allow it to be presented at trial.
On the matter of financial troubles, Hynes sided with the defense, which argued whatever money problems Kustok suffered had no bearing on the case, and that the presentation of such evidence would cast their client in a “scurrilous light.”
In 2011, a bank filed a foreclosure lawsuit on the Kustoks’ 4,000-square-foot home, saying it was owed $664,000, or the amount of the original mortgage loan taken out in May 2006.
Before his arrest, Allan Kustok had worked for more than two years as a sales representative for RTI Biologics, a Florida company that prepares and sells tissue for grafts and transplants, according to his LinkedIn profile at the time. Prior to RTI, he worked in sales for Wright Medical Technology. His wife taught gifted students at Central Elementary School in Riverside.
On the still-unsettled issue of setting a trial date, Hynes was visibly frustrated that both sides have been unable to come to terms on a starting date. December and January dates were offered, then dismissed due to other conflicts on the part of the lawyers.
Before setting a hearing on Oct. 30 to select a trial date, the judge told the attorneys, “I want this case completed this year. That is my goal,” although he said he wouldn’t preclude wrapping up the matter in January.