crimesider

Time was not on his side: The murder trial of Allan Kustok

Allan Kustok CBS Chicago

Time may have been the most critical evidence against a suburban father of two who was convicted of the 2010 murder of his wife in Orland Park, Ill., this week.

On Tuesday, a Cook County jury found Allan Kustok guilty of the murder of his wife Anita "Jeanie" Kustok. In closing arguments, Assistant State Attorney Jennifer Gonzalez said that the case "was not a who-done-it." There were only two people in the Kustok's home on September 28, 2010 when Jeanie Kustok was shot in the face with a .375-caliber revolver. Her husband of 34 years never called 911 for help. Instead, Allan Kustok waited more than an hour to drive his deceased wife to the hospital.

A Cook County Medical Examiner quickly ruled Jeanie Kustok's death a homicide. Allan Kustok was charged with murder on October 1, 2010. The former medical salesman could not make a $2 million bond and sat in jail awaiting trial the past three-and-a-half years.

The trial of Allan Kustok began four weeks ago. The jurors heard from police investigators, blood spatter and firearms experts. They also heard from a woman who had a five-year affair with Allan Kustok. The affair lasted up to the time Kustok was arrested. And four other women testified that the now 63 year-old former college football player, and Bill Clinton look-alike, had pursued them in 2010 before the murder of Jeanie Kustok.

Yesterday, prosecutor Gonzalez pointed out - as CBS News' Crimesider did during the trial - that Allan Kustok got to the point in 2010 where he was even cheating on his mistress. Gonzalez told the jury that Kustok had "checked out" of his marriage years ago and his wife had become "just an anchor" who Kustok was "done with."

Defense attorney Rick Beuke told the jury that Allan Kustok would have "done anything" for his wife. Prosecutor Gonzalez agreed, but said "anything" included Allan Kustok killing his wife.

The jury took almost no time to come to a consensus. After they'd had lunch, they took a poll and it was unanimous: Allan Kustok was guilty of murder.

Allan Kustok's defense had a time problem - measured in seconds, minutes, hours, and years - they could never overcome.

There was the five-year secret affair with a corporate lawyer. There was the 34-year marriage that ended in a gunshot from a .375 Magnum revolver. There was the hour that Allan Kustok waited before driving his wife's lifeless body to a hospital emergency room. But most damning of all was the seconds, maybe totaling a minute, that Jeanie Kustok bled out from a bullet wound in her head while her husband, who would "do anything for her," did nothing. Kustok's defense lawyer told the jury there was "no manual" of what to do in that situation. Prosecutor Gonzalez said there was a manual that even five-year-olds know: you dial 911 in an emergency.

On Monday, the jury heard from Allan Kustok's daughter, Sarah. She is a television sportscaster for the NBA's Brooklyn Nets. Sarah Kustok said that she did not believe her father killed her mother. When asked by Gonzalez if she had thought about the fact that her father never called 911, Sarah Kustok said, "I, to be honest, have not thought about that. I can't put myself in his shoes." Columnist Phil Kadner of the Chicago-Sun Times wrote, "Sarah appeared unquestioning to the point of disbelief."

The same could not be said of Sarah's older brother, Zak. He was a former star quarterback for Northwestern University. Though Zak Kustok did not testify at the trial, he made a public statement that he does not support his father.

Neither Zak nor Sarah were in court when the guilty verdict was read. Allan Kustok faces 45 years to life in prison. His sentencing will be April 17.

  • Doug Longhini

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