Murder suspect accused of trying to hire hit man from jail
Joseph Spitalli, 34, of Darien, Ill., leaves the courtroom at the DuPage County Courthouse in Wheaton, Ill., today after his arraignment on murder charges. Spitalli, who is being held without bail, is charged with the Nov. 16, 2012, first-degree murder of Teymur Huseynli, a 31-year-old Skokie resident who was dating Spitalli's former girlfriend. (Jose M. Osorio / January 14, 2013)
After receiving information Monday that Joseph Spitalli was plotting the murder of his former girlfriend, Judge Daniel Guerin barred most outside contact for Spitalli, who is being held without bail in the county jail.
He also plotted the death of his roommate and discussed a scheme to escape from jail, prosecutors say.
Spitalli, 34, has been charged with first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping stemming from the Nov. 16 slaying of Teymur Huseynli, 31, of Skokie, who was dating Spitalli’s former girlfriend, Kristina Baltrimaviciene, 28. At his arraignment Monday, Spitalli pleaded not guilty to those charges.
Authorities say Spitalli confronted the couple outside Baltrimaviciene’s Darien apartment, and after a brief confrontation, slashed Huseynli’s throat from behind with a kitchen knife.
He then forced the woman into his car and drove around the southwest suburbs, threatening her unless she agreed to lie to police about Huseynli’s death, prosecutors say.
At one point, Spitalli brought the woman to his apartment, and allegedly told his roommate to tell anyone who asked that the roommate and Spitalli had been home watching a movie.
According to a motion filed Monday by prosecutors, the DuPage County sheriff’s office received information that Spitalli was trying to hire someone to kill Baltrimaviciene to prevent her from testifying.
An informant told police that Spitalli had asked him how much it would cost to “take care of” Baltrimaviciene, and said he wished he had killed his former girlfriend when he had the chance.
After receiving information, police obtained a court order to record Spitalli’s conversations, according to the motion.
In a recording, Spitalli allegedly proposed staging a car crash or a heroin overdose to kill Baltrimaviciene, though he expressed concern about the drugs because the girlfriend does not use drugs, prosecutors said.
Police supplied the informant with a cell phone and a contact number of an undercover officer, who gave them to Spitalli. Spitalli contacted the officer and said he wanted to arrange a face-to-face meeting at the jail, the motion said.
Spitalli said he would hold up written notes during the meeting to avoid having the conversation overheard, the motion said. He allegedly told the informant he would pay the hitman from an anticipated tax return, the motion said, or from money his parents had raised for his defense.
Sptialli also told the informant of an escape plan that entailed hiding in the jail shower, overpowering a night guard and then escaping via a fire exit to a waiting car.
Jailers moved Spitalli to a segregated cell Friday after he confronted the informant and threatened him, the motion said.
During a Saturday interview, Spitalli denied statements that he planned Baltrimaviciene’s death, and later, when confronted with the audio tapes, said he was only “playing along” with the informant. But he terminated the interview when police continued to question him about details of the plan, according to prosecutors.
Based on recommendations from prosecutors, the judge barred Spitalli from any access to a phone, other than to speak with his attorney. Guerin also banned any in-person visits at the jail.