DuPage County Assistant State's Attorney Joe Lindt laid out some gruesome details in the murder of a 4-year-old in Bloomingdale during a hearing Sunday to set bond for the person accused of killing her: her mother.
Marci Webber, 43, was charged with first-degree murder and will be held on $5 million bond. Lindt said she admitted killing her daughter, Magdalene or "Maggie," to protect her from Internet predators and the Internet sex trade.
Webber appeared in court for the first time via closed-circuit television in a yellow jumpsuit with bandages across both wrists.
Lindt said Webber feared that Maggie would be raped and then sold into sex slavery.
Webber told Bloomingdale police that she gave Maggie sleeping pills and Benadryl, which Lindt said were found alongside the 4-year-old's body in the second-floor bathtub with a 4-inch folding knife. Police also found drugs that had been prescribed to Webber.
According to Lindt, Maggie's esophagus was cut, and a knife slash met her spine. The words "divine mercy" were scrawled on the wall, in blood.
Webber also told police that Maggie might have woken up during the ordeal.
On Wednesday, police were called to the home on the 200 block of Amherst Court. When they arrived, they found the 4-year-old dead and Webber bleeding from her wrists.
Webber was hospitalized at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital with what police have called self-inflicted wounds until Saturday, when she was taken into custody.
Webber does have prior arrests in McHenry County, including on charges of battery in 1995 and child abduction around the same time. Both of those cases, however, were dismissed.
A request by Webber to have the bond amount reduced was denied. DuPage Circuit Court Judge Richard Russo agreed with Lindt's contention that Webber posed a flight risk and set the bond at $5 million. Russo also added several conditions in case Webber does make bond, including prohibiting her from drinking alcohol, possessing any dangerous weapons or moving without a GPS tracker. Additionally, she is barred from contact with anybody under the age of 18.
Webber, a resident of upstate New York, was in town staying with her mother. On Saturday, DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett said he would seek a mental health examination for Webber because he expected an insanity defense.
When asked if she could post the 10 percent necessary to be released, Webber said, "I don't think so." She has been assigned a public defender and next appears in court Nov. 29.