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updated: 1/23/2012 3:54 PM

Additional evaluation possible for Aurora hospital stabbing suspect

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  • Darrell Franklin

    Darrell Franklin


The defense attorney for Darrell Franklin, a 40-year-old Aurora man accused of attacking a woman with a butter knife at Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora in 2010, wants a second fitness evaluation for his client.

Franklin, of the 600 block of South River Street, was ruled fit to stand trial in December 2010 after an evaluation by the Kane County Diagnostic Center.

Kane County Judge Karen Simpson then sealed the file, which is a routine step for fitness evaluations.

Franklin is accused of attempted murder, aggravated battery of a senior citizen, and aggravated battery and faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

The case has since been reassigned to Judge James Hallock.

Assistant Public Defender Walt Werderich recently filed a court motion asking for a second evaluation, stating he still has serious doubts about Franklin's ability to stand trial.

Werderich could not immediately be reached for comment Monday; Franklin is next due in court Wednesday.

The Aug. 31, 2010 attack left the victim with cuts on her face, shoulders, a broken nose, fractured eye socket and another broken bone in her face.

The woman, who was 78 at the time, was sharing a room with one of Franklin's relatives. Police have said the attack may have occurred moments after Franklin, who was visiting his relative, was informed his son had been killed.

The woman, Naomi Leeth-Johnson, has since sued Provena Mercy, arguing that Franklin was a trespasser on hospital grounds, 1325 N. Highland Ave., and the staff failed to protect her. That lawsuit also is due in court Wednesday.

Franklin has been held at the Kane County jail on $100,000 bail since September 2010.

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