CHICAGO – Despite the objections of prosecutors and defense attorneys, a DuPage County judge on Monday ruled that cameras will be allowed in a Chicago-area courtroom to record a criminal trial for the first time.
Paul Darrah, a spokesman for the county's state's attorney's office, said that Judge Daniel Guerin imposed some restrictions on the use of courtroom cameras in the upcoming murder trial of Johnny Borizov. But he said Guerin will allow the cameras to roll during what could be the most dramatic testimony – that of the confessed triggerman in the March 2010 attack in which Jeffrey and Lori Kramer and their 20-year-old son, Michael, were killed in their Darien home.
Cameras have been allowed to record two murder trials in more rural Whiteside and Kankakee counties as part of a state Supreme Court pilot program launched last year. But Borizov's trial, due to its proximity to Chicago, is expected to get far more attention from the media and the Cook County legal community, which expects to soon bring cameras to Chicago courtrooms.
DuPage County has already allowed cameras in a courtroom in November when a woman pleaded not guilty in the stabbing deaths of her 7-year-old son and a 5-year-old girl she was babysitting, but this will mark the first time cameras will be allowed in one of the county's courtrooms during trial.
Guerin imposed a number of restrictions after attorneys argued that the cameras would be obtrusive and that the family of the victims did not want cameras in the courtroom during the trial.
Originally, there were to be two television cameras and two still cameras allowed, but Darrah said that the judge ordered that only one television camera and one still camera be allowed.
Darrah said cameras must also be turned off during testimony from anyone who was in the home during the killings except for the gunman, Jacob Nodarse, and while a jailhouse informant testifies.
Prosecutors allege that Nodarse carried out the slayings at the request of his friend, Borizov, who had asked him to kill his ex-girlfriend and her family. The ex-girlfriend, Jeffrey and Lori Kramer's daughter, escaped injury by hiding in a closet.
Nodarse pleaded guilty but mentally ill last year to first-degree murder in the slayings. He has agreed to testify as part of a plea deal.