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updated: 1/25/2012 4:54 PM

Judge could decide hospital stabbing suspect's fitness in March

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  • Darrell Franklin

    Darrell Franklin


Attorneys are due in court March 1 when a judge could make a decision on whether Darrell Franklin, who is accused of attacking an elderly patient at Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora, is fit for trial.

Kane County Judge Karen Simpson deemed Franklin fit in December 2010, but another evaluation has been ordered by his new defense attorney, who still has serious doubts about the 40-year-old's ability to stand trial.

The case has been reassigned to Judge James Hallock.

The Kane County Diagnostic Center needs four more weeks to prepare reports on Franklin, who faces up to 30 years in prison, if convicted, in the Aug. 31, 2010 attack.

One county report is whether Franklin is fit for trial, and the second report is for his new Assistant Public Defender Julie Visher, who wants to gauge Franklin's sanity at the time of the attack.

"One (report) was done, one was not," said Assistant State's Attorney Mark Stajdohar, the lead prosecutor in the case.

Franklin has been held on $100,000 bail since his arrest on charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery to a senior citizen and aggravated battery.

Authorities say Franklin used a butter knife to attack a then-78-year-old woman who was at the hospital for kidney dialysis and sharing a room with one of Franklin's relatives. She sustained cuts on her face, shoulders, a broken nose, fractured eye socket and another broken bone in her face.

Police have said the attack may have occurred after Franklin learned, while visiting a relative in the same hospital room, that his son was killed.

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