CROWN POINT | The murder trial of a Calumet Township man accused of slaying his 94-year-old mother opened Monday.
George Knezevic, 62, faces multiple charges that include murder, neglect of a dependent and battery in the 2010 death of his mother, Ljubica Knezevic.
Police were called to the home Knezevic shared with his mother in the 4700 block of Buchanan Street, where they found the woman bruised, battered, unable to speak and wearing wet clothes in the trash-filled house.
Witnesses told police Knezevic had choked the woman outside the house before spraying her with a garden hose and pulling her into the house by her hair.
Knezevic also is alleged to have placed a pistol against the head of a witness before striking the windshield of the man's car and firing a shot in the air.
In opening statements Monday, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Michelle Jatkiewicz told jurors the woman, instead of living out her days in the comfort of home, died alone in the hospital three days after being beaten by her only son.
Instead of a comfortable home, Jatkiewicz said police and medics had found the woman in pain in a filthy, cluttered, feces-infested residence.
An observer who tried to stop Knezevic from striking the woman later found Knezevic pointing a gun to his head and telling him to mind his own business.
But defense attorney Scott King told jurors the woman died of long-standing heart failure, and witness after witness would describe Knezevic doting on the woman despite his own ill health.
King said the buckets of human waste were the result of the woman not being able to make it to the bathroom at night.
King cast doubt on the credibility of the state's three key witnesses, currently facing felony charges for burglarizing the Knezevics' home after George Knezevic was taken into custody.