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Monday, June 25, 2012

Cook County Judge at Bridgeview court found murder fit to stand trial

John L. Wilson Jr., the man charged with murdering 14-year-old Lyons Township High School freshman Kelli O’Laughlin, was found fit to stand trial today based on a report conducted by Cook County Forensic Clinical Services that claimed Wilson can be “lying and manipulative” and showed no psychotic symptoms.
The report, conducted by Drs. Susan Messina and Peter Lourgos, said although Wilson allegedly claimed to hear voices, his descriptions were inconsistent and vague and “not convincing nor credible” as “he has done similarly in the past.”
While the report did indicate that Wilson showed anti-social behavior, it also said he does not suffer from mental illness and has a clear understanding of what’s occurring and even stated that Wilson has authored his own legal documents in the past.
The report was made after Messina and Lourgos individually went over extensive documentation of Wilson, including psychological summaries made in previous cases, grand jury proceedings, investigative summaries, as well as interviews with Wilson.
Included in the report were statements made by Wilson’s previous attorney in an unrelated 2003 case who said, “I don’t have any doubt he’s fit.”
Wilson would, according to the report, “do crazy stuff” to get out of his cell, including shove his own feces under the door because of lack of attention. The report also stated that Wilson “is impulsive and without insight.”
However, the report also indicated that he liked to make use of the legal library, including on Nov. 5 when his request to use the library was denied, resulting in the alleged feces-shoving incident.
After the report was read aloud in court, Associate Judge John Hynes asked Wilson if he understood, to which he replied, “yes.”
Hynes then asked Wilson if he’d like to retain the services of his attorney, John Paul Carroll, who was defending Wilson for free.
Wilson said, “no.” Instead, he said he’d like to represent himself.
Hynes strongly advised against Wilson’s request, and reminded Wilson of the charges against him and the penalties, including a minimum of 20 years with no possibility of parole and a maximum of life in prison for the first-degree murder charge alone.
“These are serious matters,” Hynes told Wilson. “I think you need to think hard and fast about this.”
In the meantime, Hynes has appointed the Cook County Public Defender’s Office on the case.
If Wilson continues to seek to represent himself, he will have to meet with Hynes in order to determine if he is competent to represent himself.
Former attorney Carroll wouldn’t speculate as to whether or not this was attempt to stall the court proceedings, but did say he was surprised with Wilson’s decision.
“I always think it’s scary for a person to not have an attorney,” Carroll said. “To me, it’s just insane.”

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