If Allan Kustok didn’t shoot his wife on the morning of Sept. 29, 2010, the killer was someone standing over her while wearing his T-shirt, shorts and glasses, an expert witness testified Tuesday at Kustok’s murder trial.
In perhaps the most damning testimony yet as the trial began its third week, crime scene reconstruction analyst Rod Englert said that the pattern of blood stains in the Kustoks’ Orland Park bedroom made it clear—at least from his analysis—that Anita “Jeanie” Kustok could not have shot herself, deliberately or accidentally, as Allan Kustok has claimed for more than three years.
Englert was on the stand for several hours and was the only person to testify Tuesday at the trial in the Bridgeview courtroom, according to published reports.
Prosecutors showed a photograph of a crime scene re-creation in which Orland Park police posed on a bed to show how they believe the shooting occurred.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez was in attendance for the first time, sitting in the front-row along with Jeanie Kustok’s relatives.
After the prosecution rests its case this week, Kustok’s defense team is expected to call its own crime scene analysis experts to counter Englert’s claims.
Defense attorneys had sought unsuccessfully two weeks ago to stop Englert from testifying, according to published reports.
What is not disputed by either side is that shortly after Anita Kustok’s death, Allan Kustok told police his wife shot herself with a .357 caliber revolver he allegedly had given her for their 34th wedding anniversary, because he said she feared for her safety while he was away on business trips.
After the shooting, Kustok did not call any authorities and drove his wife’s body—reportedly wrapped in bloody bed linens--to Palos Community Hospital nearly 90 minutes after the gun was fired, police said.
Anita Kustok, 58, was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital with a gunshot wound to the left cheek. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office declared the death a homicide from a gun fired inches from her face; the gunshot wound was not self-inflicted accidentally or otherwise, according to what Orland Park Police Chief Tim McCarthy said in 2010.
The victim was reportedly right handed, which would not be consistent with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the left cheek, police said.
The Kustoks’ children are former standout area athletes Zak and Sarah Kustok, who starred in several sports at Sandburg High School. Zak Kustok played quarterback at Northwestern University for three years while Sarah played basketball at DePaul University, was an anchor for Comcast SportsNet Chicago and currently works for the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets.
Neither Zak nor Sarah has testified thus far. Zak appeared at the courthouse last week and made it clear to a newspaper columnist that he was only there to support his wife, Nicole, who testified about whether or not Jeanie feared for her own safety and wanted a gun for protection, as Allan Kustok has claimed.
Sarah appeared at the trial last month during jury selection and sat in the gallery, behind her father.
Mrs. Kustok was a longtime elementary school teacher who, at the time of her death, was teaching in a gifted program at Central Elementary School in Riverside.