A Chicago man has been charged with the grisly murder of a 9-year-old girl. He appeared in court just recently for a bond hearing, during which he was denied bond. His public defender had argued for a reasonable bond based on the fact that the defendant had no criminal history. However, the Chicago courts, considering the severity of the crime with which he is charged, elected to deny him bond. The defendant was still recovering from a shooting himself. He was shot in the left side of his face as police attempted to apprehend him.
Police do not yet have a motive for the shooting. The defendant was a neighbor of the victim. According to the police report, the victim was standing near an ice cream truck when a shot rang out. The victim’s father told her to go back inside their home, where she would be safe. That is when the shooter exited his house armed with a handgun, approached the 9-year-old who was with her father and shot her in the head with a handgun. When the father saw that the defendant was shooting at his daughter, he tried to stop him. During the altercation, the defendant was shot in the face with his own gun.
Mental Health Defense
The defendant has been charged with first-degree murder. But it remains unclear why he fired on the child who was playing with her scooter. When there is no apparent motive for a crime, often a mental health defense will be raised. Mental health defenses, or insanity pleas, are difficult to win. The defense alleges that individual was not in their right mind at the time of the shooting and did not realize that what they were doing was wrong. In that case, it becomes a moral defense to the charges. The defendant argues that they thought they were doing the right thing when they fired the gun. It seems implausible that a moral insanity defense will work for this particular suspect.
There are two levels to a mental health defense. The defense will petition the court for a psychiatric evaluation to determine if the defendant is fit to stand trial. A criminal defendant must be able to understand the proceedings against them and participate in their own defense. If they cannot, then they cannot stand trial.
That is different than an insanity plea which is raised at trial. In the case of an insanity plea, the defendant argues that they were not in their right mind at the time of the attack and are, therefore, not responsible for their actions. An insanity plea is difficult to win because a jury does not want to let the defendants off the hook for the shooting of a child. Nonetheless, there appears to be no rhyme or reason for the defendant’s conduct. So, an insanity plea may be appropriate in this situation.
Talk to a Chicago Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
David Freidberg represents the interests of Chicago defendants who have been charged with serious crimes such as murder. Call our office today at (312) 560-7100 to schedule an appointment, and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.