Nathan Leuthold never showed any emotion, even when graphic images of his slain wife were displayed in the courtroom, as the second day of his murder trial came and went.
Leuthold is accused of shooting his wife, Denise Leuthold, in the head on Valentine's Day 2013 at their home in north Peoria. Prosecutors believe he rummaged through the house to make it look like the whole thing was the result of a burglary that went wrong.
His lack of emotion was a common theme throughout the day Tuesday. Officers who took the stand repeatedly said Leuthold never seemed concerned the day of the murder, even when police went into his house, guns drawn, carrying bullet-proof shields. In fact, one of the officers stated Leuthold wound up going into a neighbor's house while police worked the crime scene. Another detective testified that, during a car ride to the police station, Leuthold also never seemed concerned.
He did mention a missing car, though. The car to which he referred was the one his wife drove. The vehicle was found at a park near the couple's Mossville Road home. Detective Steve Garner, who drove Leuthold to the police station, said, at the time, the missing car had not been brought up. In fact, Detective Garner said he didn't even know that police might be looking for it, and Leuthold simply volunteered the information.
Defense attorney Hugh Toner argued that Leuthold could have heard some mention of his wife's car being found over the police radio, although Detective Garner did not recall any of that information coming across during the drive downtown.
The answer to how Leuthold knew about the missing car may be found in the testimony of one of his neighbors, at least from the prosecution's standpoint. Dianne Parrish said from the witness stand that she remembers seeing a suspicious looking man walking away from the park where the car was found around 12:20 p.m. the day of the murder. She and her husband, driving to lunch, actually slowed down to get a look at him, fearing he might be planning to break into their house. Two days after the murder, Parrish went down to the police station, where she identified the mugshot of Nathan Leuthold as the man she saw that day. In the courtroom, she again pointed at Leuthold as the person who was walking down the street.
Testimony also included doubts from police officers about whether or not the crime scene was actually the site of a break-in. Police pointed out that drawers, while pulled out, were not tossed around haphazardly, as is common with burglaries. Also, cash that was in plain sight was left untouched. The only thing that was really moved was a box of .40 caliber ammunition, which had been pulled from the back of the bedroom closet.
Leuthold's attorney countered by saying that a burglar could have simply been looking for something of greater value. He also said that the cash mentioned wasn't really in plain sight, as it was sitting on the shelf of a desk in the bedroom.
Wednesday's proceedings will likely feature video from Leuthold's interviews with police. The trial itself is expected to last all week. If convicted, Leuthold would serve 45 years in prison.
1470 & 100.3 WMBD's David van Camp is covering the trial. You can get live updates from the courtroom by following @Dave_vanC and @1470wmbd on Twitter.