Kustok Pleads Not Guilty to Murder in Wife's Death
With children Zak and Sarah Kustok looking on, Allan Kustok maintains he did not kill Anita "Jeanie" Kustok.
Allan Kustok squinted as he glanced around Courtroom 101 Thursday morning before he pleaded not guilty for the murder of his wife.
Shackled and clad in yellow prison garbs, the 59-year-old Orland Park man didn't make eye contact with his children Zak and Sarah Kustok, who appeared in court supporting their father.
Allan Kustok replied with a faint "yes" when asked by Judge David Sterba if he understood the terms of his case, after the plea was given. He is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Anita "Jeanie" Kustok.
"The bond hearing information indicated that he's not sure what happened with respect to the shooting," said Rick Beuke, Allan Kustok's defense attorney. "But clearly it is being maintained that he didn't shoot her. That's been consistent from day one."
After the arraignment in front of Judge Sterba, presiding judge at the Bridgeview Courthouse who took over the case's judgment Thursday morning, Beuke said he is still waiting to receive reports to understand the prosecution's "theory of the case," and how they "will support their charges."
Beuke also said they are looking forward to establishing more information for his client's case, including a DNA swab from Allan Kustok.
But Beuke did not have an answer as to why Allan Kustok remained in shackles after he was transported from Kankakee County Jail to Bridgeview.
"I don't think there's been any indication that he's done something to cause concern for his behavior in the court room," Beuke said.
Allan Kustok was moved to Kankakee because he used to work as a sanitarian at the Cook County Jail, and it was decided he was too familiar with that facility and its staff. He remains there on $2 million bail.
Allan's Kustok children have been meeting with him in Kankakee weekly, and they are doing "as strongly as can be expected," Beuke said.
"Obviously he spends a majority of his time concerned about his kids and their well being and how they are dealing with this situation," Beuke said. "I think he's doing remarkably well. He's never been in a situation remotely close to this before."
Zak and Sarah Kustok, as well as Zak's wife, Nicole, remained after the hearing as attorney Peter Rush read a statement on their behalf. The three introduced themselves to a group of reporters before Rush spoke, but they did not offer any words themselves.
"Zak, Sarah and Nicole miss Jeanie," Rush said. "They are in contact with their father often and visit with him in Kankakee. They intend to stand by their father throughout this process, and they love him."
Allan Kustok is accused of shooting his 58-year-old wife in the head with a .357 Magnum handgun on Sept. 29. He drove her body to Palos Community Hospital and claimed that he awoke to find she was still holding the gun used to kill her.
His next court appearance is scheduled for the morning of Dec. 14.