Jurors will hear a phone call that DuPage County prosecutors say shows that the murder suspect Dominic Sanders tried to have a cousin destroy evidence that could prove that Sanders fatally stabbed Andrea Urban, a Hinsdale resident, on May 4 of 2017.
In the call made on May 28 of that year, three days after his arrest, Sanders tells his mother to contact his cousin, according to state deputy prosecutor Cathy DeLaMar, making the argument Tuesday to the judge Brian Telander When the mother mentions the man's name, he tells her they shouldn't say it, DeLaMar said.
Later, in the 16-minute call, DeLaMar said, Sanders tells his mother that the items he wants to get rid of can be found in a gray bucket and on the back of a dining chair. When asked how to get rid of them, Sanders says that since it's Memorial Day, "throw it on the grill," DeLaMar said.
She said it was clear from the call that she was trying to get rid of the clothes she had worn the day she was accused of breaking in and attacking Urban at her home.
Police found a gray plastic container on a search, but no clothes.
One of Sanders' lawyers, the senior assistant public defender, Teresa Rioux, objected, saying the call is not relevant because Sanders has not been accused of trying to destroy evidence and said nothing about the clothes.
Telander ordered the entire call to be played.
Telander also said he will allow prosecutors to show the jury a reserve photograph of Sanders in which he is smiling. Rioux said police told him to smile, but prosecutors say that was to prove he had a broken tooth.
Telander also denied the defense's request to divide the trial in two: one on whether Sanders committed the crime and another on whether the attack was so brutal that it qualifies for an extended prison sentence.
Sanders, 32, of Chicago, is accused of entering Urban's house in the middle of the afternoon, repeatedly stabbing her in the head and neck, and stealing several rings of family heirlooms. Authorities said in 2017 that he told them he chose the neighborhood because he sold candy there as a child.
Police officers testified on Tuesday that several home and business security videos showed a man parking a silver Dodge Charger, putting on a fluorescent safety vest and walking to Urban's house. Videos of a gas station in downtown Hinsdale, they said, seem to show the same man stopping to buy something. A red light camera on Ogden Avenue and Wolf Road in nearby Western Springs shows a silver Charger, they said, including their license plate.
The police used that information to find out who owned the car, Sanders, and their driver's license number and a photo. They entered the number in an online system where pawn brokers are required to enter license numbers and other customer data that pawn items.
Authorities say Sanders pawned two rings and that Urban's family identified them as belonging to her.
His trial will begin on September 24.