Cable man Anthony Triplett sentenced in murder of Urszula Sakowska

July 19, 2013 1:01:37 PM PDT
Anthony Triplett wore a cable repairman's uniform and carried a tool kit when he came to his victim's home, but those ''trappings'' cloaked a diabolical intent, a fuming Cook County judge said Friday in handing down a life term for the convicted murderer.

Judge Kevin Michael Sheehan called Comcast-contracted workman Triplett's methods "cold and calculating," when ? under the guise of installing high-speed internet ? he strangled, sexually assaulted and robbed Urszula Sakowska in her Southwest Side home in December 2006.

And Sheehan reserved some of his harshest words for Triplett's own lies on the witness stand during his May trial, teh Sun-Times is reporting.

"You were dancing like an ant on a sugar cube," Sheehan said. "... It was ridiculous."

It took a jury six hours to convict Triplett of the brutal beating and choking of Sakowska, 23, who inadvertently welcomed her killer into her home in the 6100 block of South McVicker, prosecutors said.

At trial, prosecutors presented evidence both of Sakowska's blood on Triplett's jacket and his DNA in her mouth. And, prosecutors say, Triplett raped and strangled another woman, Janet Ordidge, in her Hyde Park high rise just weeks before the Sakowska slaying. That case has yet to go to trial.

In court Friday, Brian Sexton, the lead prosecutor on the case, urged Sheehan to throw the book at Triplett.

"He is one of the most dangerous individuals you are going to see in this courtroom, and that's saying something for 26th Street," Sexton said.

When it was his turn, Triplett ? his voice thick with quiet emotion ? praised prosecutors' efforts, but said they'd fingered the wrong man.

"For me to be called a rapist and a murderer, that's an insult to my mom who raised me," he said.

One of Triplett's attorneys called his client's behavior the night of the killing "an aberration" in an otherwise law-abiding life.

Greg Magiera, Sakowska's fiance, called it devastating.

"My life will never be the same as it was before," Sexton said, reading Magiera's prepared statement. "No one will ever be able to replace my Urszula. She was the one and only. She was my angel."

Unbeknownst to the victim: Triplett was already being looked at for the Ordidge murder a month and a half earlier.

Ordidge, 39, was also strangled to death, and also left in her bathtub after calling Comcast for cable TV service.

Police say they informed Comcast that Triplett was interviewed as a "witness." Detectives were waiting for DNA results before making an arrest. While they waited, Triplett continued making house calls for Comcast, and that's when he allegedly murdered Sakowska.

Comcast issued the following statement in May when Triplett was convicted: "We remain saddened by these tragic events, and our hearts go out to the families who've lost their loved ones. We have fully cooperated with law enforcement authorities in their investigations."

Sakowska's family was joined in court for the verdict in May by Ordidge's loved ones.

Triplett's attorney argued in court his client would have been foolish to commit both crimes.

"The theory being why would he have possibly done this knowing police were hot on his tail? He was under close scrutiny at the time," said Jack Rimland, Triplett's defense attorney.

"We are extremely pleased with the guilty verdict rendered this evening by the jury against Anthony Triplett in the tragic sexual assault and murder of Urszula Sakowska. In many ways this case represents the alarming and unexpected way that sexual violence can impact the life of any woman - and it is our hope that this guilty verdict finally brings justice for Urszula, who was doing what any woman should be able to do with a sense of safety and security in her own home," Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said in a statement in May.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.


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