Johnny Borizov’s first court appearance since Jacob Nodarse took on a familiar tone.
During a Wednesday hearing, Borizov’s attorneys renewed their efforts to obtain psychiatric and psychological records, as well as evaluations, pertaining to Nodarse. Borizov’s team has repeatedly suggested Nodarse’s mental health, not a scheme planned by Borizov, caused him to shoot three members of a Darien family in March 2010.
Nodarse pleaded guilty, but mentally ill, last month to a single murder charge in connection to the shooting deaths of Michael, Jeffrey and Lori Kramer. In his agreement with prosecutors, Nodarse admitted to shooting Jeffrey Kramer and faces a minimum of 45 years in prison when he is eventually sentenced.
Nodarse’s plea requires him to cooperate, including testifying, in the prosecution of Borizov. Attorney Richard Kling said that opens the door for the records to be made available to Borizov’s defense team. Kling supported the request – which was first made last year - by noting the agreement describes Nodarse as having an extensive psychiatric history and is on a “bunch of medications” currently.
Around the time of the killings, Nodarse was sleep-deprived and had been abusing alcohol and prescription drugs, including some for depression. Doctors who met with Nodarse concluded he knew what he did was wrong and showed remorse afterward, despite suffering from depression, paranoia and "several major" psychiatric disorders, according to reports cited during Nodarse’s plea hearing last month.
Kling also asked for Judge Daniel Guerin to make available previously sealed psychological records of Angela Kramer, the mother Borizov’s son. Prosecutors allege she was a target of Borizov’s plot.
Assistant State’s Attorney Jeff Muntz asked Guerin for time to consider the requests. Guerin scheduled a Dec. 1 hearing.
Unrelated to the records issue, Kling also called upon Guerin to warn prosecutors and Nodarse’s attorney to refrain from commenting on the case outside of court proceedings. Kling claimed that statements “placing blame on Mr. Borizov” were made following Nodarse’s plea hearing in September and could hurt Borizov’s ability to get a fair trial.
“We’re going to have to pick a jury,” Kling said.
Guerin did not immediately take action on the request.