Witness Says Toe Print Is Defendant's Forensic Expert's Testimony Places Him in Murdered Nurse's Apartment
Gutowski, Christy, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Christy Gutowski Daily Herald Legal Affairs Writer
After the Edward Hospital nurse was murdered, authorities suspect her assailant vacuumed and ignited a blaze to hide any clues he left behind.
Prosecutors revealed Thursday Melissa Plut's vacuum holds the one piece of forensic evidence they have linking a neighbor to her violent death.
Vincent Trevizo is accused of strangling the 28-year-old nurse early Sept. 3, 2000, in her adjoining Joliet duplex. He faces murder and arson charges.
A forensic expert testified Trevizo's left toe print matches one found on the vacuum. The finding is the most significant evidence prosecutors have revealed because it places Trevizo in his neighbor's duplex.
After calling about 50 witnesses in four days, prosecutors rested their case Thursday. Defense attorneys will ask the judge this morning for an immediate verdict. They contend enough reasonable doubt exists to exonerate their client.
Trevizo, 30, opted to have Kendall County Judge Leonard Wojtecki, rather than a jury, decide his fate. Police arrested Trevizo in May 2001. He is free on bond.
Trevizo maintains he was asleep in his baby's room during the killing. His wife, Kelly Trevizo, corroborated the alibi. She said her husband was in the room a few minutes after 1 a.m.
But her account conflicted with other testimony. A neighbor, Brandon Knapp, said he saw Vincent Trevizo outside at 1:15 a.m. talking to someone. Knapp was certain of the time, he said, because he was late for his 1 a.m. curfew.
Another witness, Heather Conner, said she saw Kelly Trevizo sleeping alone - not with her husband - on a loft couch. …