Woman accused in death, dismemberment of West Ridge landlord testifies in own defense

ByLeah Hope and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, April 19, 2024
Woman accused in Chicago landlord's murder testifies in own defense
Sandra Kolalou took the stand in her own defense in the murder trial of Frances Walker, her landlord. The prosecution rested their case Friday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The woman charged with killing and dismembering her landlord testified in her own defense Friday.

Sandra Kolalou is on trial for the 2022 murder of 69-year-old Frances Walker.

Kolalou, who was a tenant of the boarding house owned by Walker, is charged with first-degree murder.

The state rested their case Friday, paving the way for the defense to begin theirs. Kolalou took the stand shortly before 4 p.m.

She told the jury about her relationship with Walker, testifying they would often have lunch and she would sing while Wlaker played piano on Saturday evenings.

"She was a good person to talk to so we became even more close when she came back from Bulgaria," she told the jury.

Regarding the events leading up to Walker's disappearance, Kolalou testified she was at a birthday party and was on social media until she fell asleep.

Walker rented rooms in her home on North Washtenaw Avenue, and prosecutors said after she was reported missing in October of 2022, they found her head, arms and legs in the freezer of the home but not her torso.

More evidence was found in a trash can on Foster Beach.

Blood was also found in her bedroom and on knives, police said.

Before the state rested, the prosecution presented gruesome photos of Walker's head, legs and arms found in the freezer of her home as the Cook County medical examiner testified. Walker's family has been attending the trial and had to witness the photos as well.

"It's very painful because we know who Fran is," said her sister-in-law Maggie Walker. "For our family to go through this is unimaginable."

In the trial's second day, other tenants in the home testified they heard Walker and Kolalou arguing in the 24 hours before Walker went missing.

Jurors also heard from a tow truck driver who Kolalou called the day Walker went missing. Antonio Coria testified Kolalou tried to use Frances Walker's credit cards and became aggressive, pulling a pocket knife on him.

"She told me I was next," he told the court.

WATCH: Driver feared for life as he drove woman police say killed landlord

A tow truck driver said he feared for his life as he drove Sandra Kolalou, who is charged with killing landlord Frances Walker, found in a freezer.

Koalou's attorneys contend the evidence does not connect their client to the crimes, and there were others with motivation to kill Walker.

Closing arguments are expected Monday.

Related coverage:

West Ridge landlord's remains found in apartment, at Foster Beach after reported missing

Woman charged with murder after Frances Walker's remains found in Far North Side freezer

No bail for Chicago woman charged with killing landlord found dismembered in freezer

Relatives say Chicago landlord tried multiple times to remove tenant now charged with her murder

Kolalou trial: Other renters testify they heard arguing night before landlord killed, dismembered