News - Kane County

Geneva man convicted for a second time in 2014 murder of wife

Shadwick R. King

A Geneva man has been convicted, again, of murdering his wife.

Kane County Judge John Barsanti ruled Friday that Shadwick R. King, 55, strangled Kathleen King to death in 2014 and disposed of her body by putting it on nearby railroad tracks.

“Justice was served,” Kathleen’s father, Kurt Kuester, said as he left the Kane County Judicial Center.

King was convicted of first-degree murder by a jury in 2015. But the conviction was overturned on appeal in 2018, and a new trial was ordered. King chose to have a bench trial the second time around.

During the trial in June, Kane County prosecutors alleged that King was upset by a relationship Kathleen, 32, was having, via texts and social media, with another man.

Engineers on a Metra train found Kathleen’s body at 6:38 a.m. on July 6, 2014, lying perpendicular to a set of railroad tracks, with her head hanging over a rail.

Prosecutors alleged that King strangled Kathleen at their home on nearby Oak Street, then dressed her in jogging clothes and took her body to a stretch of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks near Esping Park and Johnson Controls Inc.

King testified that he and Kathleen had gone the night before to her father’s house for a family dinner. He said Kathleen drank about 1½ bottles of wine while they were there. She then had several more glasses of wine and four shots of whiskey at a Geneva bar they went to later.

When they returned home, King saw she was texting with the man. After Kathleen went to bed, he took her phone and sent texts to the man, pretending to be her, King said.

He testified he knew King was communicating with the man, who she met during Army Reserves training, for at least a month and had attended a Chicago Cubs game with the man. He said he asked her if she wanted to divorce him, but she said “no,” King said.

His attorney, Kathleen Zellner, argued that Geneva police and firefighters were wrong when they decided Kathleen was dead and should have tried to resuscitate her. She also argued that Kathleen died of a heart arrhythmia, not strangulation. The arrhythmia could have been caused by an electrolyte imbalance brought on by the drinking and jogging, Zellner argued. Kathleen had a blood alcohol content of .15% at the time of her death, twice the legal standard for intoxication.

In his written ruling, Barsanti said the resuscitation issue was moot. He also said he found King’s testimony not credible.

Zellner declined to comment after the hearing.