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updated: 6/8/2012 7:53 PM

Man not guilty by reason of insanity in 2010 hospital stabbing

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  • Darrell Franklin

    Darrell Franklin


A 41-year-old Aurora man accused of attacking an elderly woman at Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora in August 2010 was found not guilty by reason of insanity Friday.

Darrell Franklin was charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery to a senior citizen after a woman at the hospital for kidney dialysis was attacked with a butter knife.

He faced up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

Franklin was initially ruled fit to stand trial, but a second evaluation concluded Franklin suffers from schizoaffective disorder, which causes hallucinations and delusions.

Friday, a brief, stipulated bench trial was held before Judge James Hallock.

In it, Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Mark Stajdohar and Assistant Public Defender Julie Visher agreed to a set of facts surrounding Franklin's case and Hallock declared him not guilty, concluding that Franklin "based upon his history, is substantially likely to inflict serious harm on another in the near future if not held in a secure mental health facility."

Franklin, of the 600 block of South River Street, has been held in the Kane County jail since his arrest Aug. 31, 2010. He was turned over to the state's Department of Human Services for an evaluation.

A recommendation will be made July 17 and Hallock will decide then what is next for Franklin.

In court documents, attorneys agreed that the state had enough evidence to prove Franklin guilty, but the defense also had proof the crime was a result of his mental disease.

Court documents said Franklin has a long history of mental illness, that he'd been hospitalized more than 12 times since he was in his 20s, and has a history of "noncompliance" in taking his medication if not closely monitored.

Attorneys also agreed that the attack was due to him not taking his medicine and suffering from "both hallucinations and paranoid delusions."

"The defendant's hallucinations and paranoid delusions drove him to 'protect' his family and defend himself by stabbing the victim. The defendant believed the victim to be involved in son's death," court papers stated.

Stajdohar said the victim and her family were informed of Friday's verdict and were understanding of it. "They want to make sure society is protected and it doesn't happen to anybody else," he said.

After July 17, Franklin's status will be evaluated every 60 days and if there is a change in his status or center where he is in custody, it must be approved by a judge.

The victim and her family also have sued the hospital, arguing the staff was negligent in protecting the victim and didn't provide adequate security. The case is next due in court June 28.

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