A Cook County judge ruled Thursday that jurors selected for Allan Kustok’s murder trial will be allowed to see evidence and hear testimony presented by prosecutors detailing trysts with several women before his wife Jeanie was killed.
However, the jurors will not be permitted to see evidence and hear testimony in regard to the Kustoks’ difficult financial situation during the upcoming trial.
On Sept. 30, prosecutors argued that jurors should know Allan Kustok carried on several affairs with women, using websites such as AshleyMadison.com to arrange trysts and approaching women in public. According to prosecutors, he carried on a five-year affair with one woman and met another days before his wife Jeanie was killed by gunfire.
Kustok’s attorneys didn’t deny the affairs, but argued that jurors would be unfairly prejudiced against Allan Kustok upon learning about them.
Prosecutors also argued that jurors should be able to learn that the couple was several hundred thousand dollars in debt. The defense said there was no financial gain to be had from Jeanie’s death, and therefore it was irrelevant to the case.
Judge John Hynes read from a written ruling he gave to prosecutors and defense attorneys on the case Thursday afternoon in his Bridgeview courtroom, detailing why he felt the affairs were admissible, but the finances were not. Hynes said the state didn’t prove that the finances could be a contributing factor to a motive, but the affairs are relevant, especially testimony from at least two women claiming he said he was unhappy in his marriage.
“I am mindful that some of this evidence might place the defendant in a negative light,” Hynes said. “But the probative value outweighs the prejudicial effect.”
Hynes then chastised both prosecutors and defense attorneys for not having a firm trial date in mind. Prosecutors proposed a January date but the defense asked for a February date instead, and Hynes said it wasn’t acceptable that far into 2014.
“This case is over three years old,” Hynes said. “I have indicated repeatedly that this case is to be finished this year. If not in December, than it has to be January.”
A tentative trial date was set for early December, but a conflict with a prosecutor’s witness mentioned at the Sept. 30 hearing led to another date change.
Allan Kustok is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife Anita “Jeanie” Kustok.
A new trial date is expected to be set at an Oct. 30 hearing.
Originally posted 1:39 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10.
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