Three years have passed since Allan Kustok brought the body of his wife Jeanie Kustok to an area hospital, and the trial still hasn’t started.
Allan Kustok was in Judge John Hynes’ Bridgeview courtroom Monday for a hearing where the prosecution argued to include details of the Kustoks’ finances, as well as Allan Kustok’s infidelity, in the trial. Kustok’s attorneys argued against including the information.
Allan Kustok is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife Anita “Jeanie” Kustok.
Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Gonzalez described on Monday how Allan Kustok used websites, such as AshleyMadison.com, to meet women interested in discreet affairs. Gonzalez said Kustok had affairs, or talked about arranging a tryst, with at least seven women, including one with whom he carried on a five-year affair. Kustok met another woman just two days before Jeanie Kustok was killed, and they had planned to meet again on a date that would have been after Jeanie died, according to Gonzalez.
“He told the women that he was unhappy in the marriage and he intends to leave his wife soon,” Gonzalez said during the hearing.
Gonzalez said Allan first started using the AshleyMadison.com site, which is billed as a resource for “married, dating and discreet encounters,” in March 2010. By June 2010, he was approaching women in public places, she said.
Gonzalez argued that it was important for jurors to know about these circumstances rather than “hearing about Jeanie’s death in a vacuum.”
She went on to describe the couple’s finances as dire.
“We’re not talking a mortgage and credit cards that need to be paid off,” Gonzalez said.
The Kustoks had a combined income of about $100,000, according to Gonzalez. But that wasn’t cutting it with a $600,000 mortgage, about $100,000 in credit card debt, another $100,000 line of credit and a $300,000 loan from a relative that remains unpaid, she said.
Gonzalez said the state can’t prove that Allan would have come into any money following Jeanie’s death. Hynes also acknowledged that the financial issues don’t have a direct connection to motive or reason. Hynes also noted that one of the women Allan Kustok reached out to said he spoke highly of Jeanie Kustok.
Kustok’s attorney Steven Rueckert said the woman Kustok met two days before Jeanie was killed made another statement just before Monday’s court hearing, where she denied that they planned to meet on a future date.
Rueckert said there is no evidence that Jeanie Kustok knew about the affairs. Rueckert also argued that Allan Kustok had nothing to gain financially from her death, and that the mention of finances and the affairs could have a prejudicial effect on the jurors.
“There is no question Kustok had trysts with women he met on the Internet,” Rueckert said. “But that is not a reason to kill his wife for god sakes.”
Hynes said he would consider all that was presented “to make sure there isn’t a trial within a trial.”
Hynes will make his ruling on whether the state can present details about the affairs and finances during the trial on Oct. 10.
The trial was scheduled to begin in early December, but a conflict with a prosecutor’s witness may change the date.
Hynes instructed prosecutors and defense attorneys to come to the Oct. 10 hearing ready to set a firm date for the trial.
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