Fingerprints could not be found on the handgun used to take the life of Anita “Jeanie” Kustok, though her blood was discovered on the weapon, experts from the state crime lab testified Thursday in the murder trial of Allan Kustok.
The .357 magnum revolver had been a gift to Jeanie Kustok from Allan Kustok, who told police he gave the high-power weapon to his wife to make her feel safe at their alarm-protected Orland Park home, according to court testimony at the Bridgeview courthouse.
In the early morning hours of Sept. 29, 2010, Allan Kustok told police he was jarred awake by an explosion. Jeanie Kustok, he claimed, had been shot in the head and was clutching the handgun to her chest, according to court testimony.
Still, after comprehensive tests at the Illinois State Police Crime Lab in Joliet, experts were unable to recover fingerprints belonging to either Jeanie or Allan Kustok, forensic scientist Holly Heitzman testified.
Another state crime lab expert testified that the revolver had Jeanie Kustok’s blood on it. And state firearms expert Jeffrey Parise testified that the fatal shot was indeed fired from that gun.
Kustok’s defense attorneys suggested that the revolver could have gone off easily had it already been cocked, raising the possibility that the gun was fired accidentally.
Earlier in the day, defense attorneys ripped crime scene investigators for misplacing a portion of the Kustok’s bed, which Jeanie Kustok had been laying in when she was shot.
Detectives returned to the Kustok’s house about a month after Jeanie Kustok’s death, to further investigate and gather materials for a crime scene reconstruction, according to testimony.
But when they came back, the box spring of the Kustok’s bed had gone missing, testified Investigator Ron Sachtleben, of the Cook County Sheriff’s police.
“Did anybody make an effort to find out where the box spring went?” defense attorney Laura Morask asked, questioning if the police secured the crime scene well enough. “Did you tell [other officers], ‘I left behind a bloody mattress and a box spring?’”
There were other potentially valuable bits of evidence that were left strewn about in the master bedroom area of the house, too, Morask said.
“It was in more disarray than we left it,” Sachtleben said.