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DNA test requested for 1996 murder case

Louis Rozo

Louis Rozo

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Updated: January 16, 2013 6:07AM

A judicial order was signed Friday to perform a DNA test on evidence from a 1996 murder case.

A jury convicted Louis Rozo, 47, of murdering retired speech pathology professor Christy Shervanian, 69, on Dec. 1, 1996, in the victim’s Highland Park home. Rozo is serving a 75-year sentence.

Rozo filed a motion in Lake County in 2008 asking that DNA taken from a tissue sample from Shervanian’s fingernails get tested. Rozo asked that the DNA sample get tested to two men who were alleged to have been lovers of the victim.

The request was denied in Lake County, but the appellate court reversed that decision and remanded it back to Lake County Circuit Court earlier this year.

Circuit Judge John Phillips told Assistant State’s Attorney Stephen Scheller and defense attorney Greg Nikitas to draft an order for the DNA testing at Friday’s hearing. Rozo was not present.

Scheller said it would probably take the Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Laboratory a few months to complete the DNA testing.

The DNA will be compared to Rudolph Zink, who was a state witness during the trial in 1997. The other man was Zink’s roommate when Shervanian was killed, according to the appellate court opinion filed in May.

Bloody fingerprints inside a rubber glove left inside Shervanian’s bedroom led to Rozo’s arrest. The retired professor’s teeth, nose and ribs were broken. He also was strangled before his death. Fifty wounds were inflicted on him before he died.

At his sentencing hearing in 1997, Rozo took the stand and testified

Rozo testified in his own defense and asserted that an ex-boyfriend of his and a former lover of Shervanian’s had killed the professor.

Rozo is in custody at Stateville Correctional Center, a maximum security prison, near Joliet. His projected parole date is June 4, 2034, according to Illinois Department of Corrections.

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