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updated: 5/9/2012 7:11 PM

Doctor to consider West's ability to stand trial

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  • Chuck West

    Chuck West


A judge could decide in the coming months if Kane County Coroner Chuck West is physically able to stand trial on felony misconduct charges.

After a brief court hearing Wednesday, defense attorney Gary Johnson said his client was again hospitalized.

"He's in acute distress and he's awaiting a liver transplant," said Johnson, who indicated last month that West, 69, of Elgin, is suffering from non-alcohol related liver cirrhosis.

West is accused of allowing a television to be taken from the home of a dead Carpentersville man in 2007. No trial date has been set.

The case is due in court again June 27, and between now and then, Judge John McAdams will appoint a doctor to evaluate West to see if a "bona fide doubt" exists to West's physical ability to stand trial and assist in his own defense.

If a doubt is reported June 27, then another hearing date will be set for another evaluation and for attorneys to argue their cases before McAdams.

It was not immediately clear Wednesday who will be appointed to evaluate West.

Dr. Steven McCarthy, one of West's doctors, wrote in an April 16, 2012, letter to the court that West must have frequent procedures to remove fluid that has accumulated in his abdominal cavity due to the illness.

"(Patient's) prognosis is fair to guarded at this time," McCarthy wrote, according to court documents.

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