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updated: 7/1/2011 1:20 PM

DuPage prosecutors seek mental evaluation for Elmhurst mom

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  • Cheryl Luchetta

      Cheryl Luchetta

 

DuPage County prosecutors on Friday sought a mental evaluation for an Elmhurst mom charged with the attempted murder of her 7-year-old son, but her attorney said it would be premature.

Judge Daniel Guerin set a July 12 hearing where the prosecution and defense could argue whether a forensic psychologist should proceed with an evaluation of 41-year-old Cheryl Luchetta.

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Luchetta told authorities she was distraught over a pending divorce when she gave her son a potentially fatal mixture of Valium and Tylenol PM on June 8, before she cut her own throat and consumed a large amount of Valium in an apparent suicide attempt, prosecutors said.

Police arrived the next morning to find the child unresponsive after Luchetta awoke and called 911, saying an intruder tried to kill them, prosecutors said. She later admitted she was upset over a child support matter and hoped she and the boy would "join her deceased parents in heaven," prosecutors said.

In court Friday, Assistant State's Attorney Cathy DeLaMar argued an evaluation of Luchetta's mental fitness is necessary "based on the nature and circumstances of the offense and the defendant's medical history." She said the "most relevant" evaluations take place closest to the time of the alleged offense.

Assistant Public Defender Kyle Rubeck, however, countered that it's too early to tell whether his client would raise an insanity defense.

"I don't have a single piece of discovery, so it's premature to say what our defense will be," he told the judge. "There's no rush for this."

Prosecutors also sought access to medical records for the victim, who has recovered from his injuries. Guerin ordered Elmhurst Memorial Hospital to turn over the records.

Luchetta, who remained in jail on $300,000 bail, faces charges of aggravated battery to a child and attempted first-degree murder. If convicted, she could be sentenced to six to 30 years in prison.

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