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updated: 10/25/2012 12:34 PM

Vernon Hills man facing murder charge deemed fit for trial

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  • Ronald Stolberg

      Ronald Stolberg

 
 

A Vernon Hills man charged with suffocating his wife was deemed mentally fit to stand trial for her murder, a Lake County judge ruled Wednesday.

However, Ronald Stolberg, 48, was ordered held without bond until the trial by Lake County Judge Mark Levitt because Stolberg had intentionally cut off his ankle monitoring device in September.

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Stolberg is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly suffocating his wife, Rachel Stolberg, 54, for disturbing his sleep June 7, 2011.

Levitt's ruling on Stolberg's fitness was based on a report submitted by a court-appointed psychiatrist.

Stolberg had been free after his Arlington Heights mother posted 10 percent of his $3 million bond.

However, Stolberg cut off the ankle monitor in September after he complained the device was chafing his leg, Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Jim Newman explained. After Stolberg removed the monitor, Newman said, police contacted him at his parents' home in Arlington Heights, and Stolberg immediately turned himself in to authorities.

Defense attorneys argued Wednesday that Stolberg should again be released on bond while awaiting trial. However, Levitt agreed with prosecutors that it was a rarity for an accused murderer be allowed out of jail on bond, and removing the ankle bracelet showed that Stolberg could run if he elected to do so.

Stolberg is due back in court in December, Newman said.

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