A woman described Tuesday her multiday crack cocaine binge with the man standing trial this week in Rock County Court for the December 2017 murder of a Janesville woman.
Julian D. Collazo, 24, is on trial for the second time for the murder of Christine H. Scaccia-Lubeck, who was found dead in her Janesville home Dec. 9, 2017.
The first trial ended when a jury couldn’t agree on a verdict.
The defense suggested at the first trial that it wasn’t Collazo who stabbed Scaccia-Lubeck to death, but rather a woman who had met Collazo several days before the murder, Nicole R. Kazar, now 27. The same defense is expected at this trial.
Kazar did not testify at the first trial. She testified Tuesday that she never met Scaccia-Lubeck and had never been to Scaccia-Lubeck’s near-west-side house, where the murder occurred, and did not kill her.
Kazar said she was homeless, working as a prostitute and addicted to crack at the time of the murder, and had met Collazo, also homeless, a few days before.
Kazar described herself as a mother, raised in Brodhead, who did not graduate from high school. She said her former husband beat her and forced her into prostitution, and she still suffers from that trauma.
She and Collazo were smoking a lot of crack after they met that December, and she said she hadn’t slept for up to six days during the binge, which included a lot of alcohol, as well.
O’Leary also led Kazar through a series of Facebook Messenger conversations she had with Collazo throughout the afternoon and evening Dec. 8. Shortly before 7 p.m., Collazo messaged Kazar: “What I just did, all of this is for you, not for me. ... I got her for everything.”
Kazar messaged back: “wym,” or what do you mean? He did not reply.
The two didn’t have any more contact until 9:03 p.m., when Collazo called Kazar. Kazar said she doesn’t recall what was said.
At 9:36 p.m., she tells Collazo she is on her way to meet him at the Mobil station at the Janesville Five Points intersection. She had spent much of the day with one of her regular customers and then driving around with a crack dealer, she said.
Kazar described meeting Collazo at a gas station the night of the murder, getting money from Collazo and buying crack from a dealer who had given her a ride there.
The two smoked the crack and then bought more crack and smoked that, she said.
Collazo showed up in a white SUV that belonged to Scaccia-Lubeck, with the back seat filled with items Collazo had stolen from Scaccia-Lubeck, including a handgun, Kazar said.
They sold the handgun and other items to get money to buy crack, Kazar said.
Later that night, the two headed south to see her children in Mississippi, Kazar said.
It wasn’t until they were on the road that Collazo told her he had killed someone, she said.
The two were arrested in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, on Dec. 9.
In the courtroom, defense attorney Jeffrey Jensen had a contentious exchange with Kazar, questioning her memory of the events surrounding the murder.
Jensen told the jury Monday that he intends to show that Kazar was the one who stabbed Scaccia-Lubeck.
O’Leary asked Kazar to read notes Collazo passed to Kazar while they were in jail in Cape Girardeau, in which he apologizes for getting her into trouble.
“I was in the heat of the moment and felt invincible and felt no one could stop me, not even myself,” one note read.
The note says Collazo and Kazar never had sex or even kissed.
Collazo calls Kazar “Little Momma” and says how much he misses her and asks that they coordinate the stories they will tell police. He signed one note: “Love, JR,” using a nickname for himself.
In another note: “I guess I’m going to plead guilty to all charges. I can’t have you going down for something you didn’t do.”
Defense attorney Jensen questioned Kazar about the events leading up to the murder, and the back and forth got testy at times.
At one point, O’Leary asked Judge Barbara McCrory that Kazar be allowed to finish her answer before Jensen asked his next question.
Kazar told Jensen she had been on a crack binge for about six days. Jensen asked if crack makes her aggressive. Kazar said no, that crack kept her awake and brings back the trauma she experienced from her child’s father in 2016.
Kazar attributed her sketchy memory to the time that has passed and to her drug abuse at the time. Yet she said she clearly remembered the places she visited the night of the murder, Dec. 8. She said she knows she wasn’t at Scaccia-Lubeck’s house and that she didn’t know Scaccia-Lubeck.
Jensen asked about a time Kazar and Collazo pulled over to sleep on their trip south and why she didn’t go tell anyone then that she was with a man who had murdered someone.
“I was so tired, I was just ready to sleep, eat and see my son and get my life back to where it was before drugs and prostitution,” Kazar said.
“So despite this trauma you told us about, despite the fact that Julian Collazo said he had murdered a woman, you decided it was more important for you to sleep in the car than to go and get help, right?” Jensen said.
O’Leary then objected, saying she had already answered why she stayed in the car.
The trial is scheduled to continue into next week, but O’Leary has indicated he thinks it could wrap up by the end of this week.