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updated: 1/15/2013 12:45 PM

Woodridge man insane, not guilty in dad's weed-trimmer slaying

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  • Yashesh Desai

      Yashesh Desai

 

A Woodridge man was legally insane when he beat his father to death with a weed trimmer, a judge ruled Monday at a bench trial.

Yashesh Desai, 22, was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the Aug. 14, 2011, slaying of his 47-year-old father Sanjiv.

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DuPage County Judge Robert Kleeman delivered the verdict after a psychologist testified Desai suffered from schizoaffective disorder and other mental afflictions. The defense also presented evidence that Desai was hallucinating and hearing voices the day of the killing.

"We're very happy with the verdict," Assistant Public Defender Ruth Walstra said. "We believe it was the most appropriate decision."

Desai has a long history of mental illness, and family members told police he had been behaving strangely for about a week before the slaying.

His brother called 911 after hearing a "loud banging sound" and then finding the bloodied victim on a futon inside the family's Clover Court home around 3 a.m., Assistant State's Attorney Helen Kapas said.

In a police interview, Desai admitted fatally beating his father in the head but made nonsensical statements about the motive. He was deemed mentally unfit for trial after psychologist John Murray tried to interview him four times without success.

"His thought process was fully psychotic and not rational," Murray testified, adding that Desai's earlier history was "not consistent with criminal function."

Desai was restored to fitness after receiving about seven months of treatment through the Illinois Department of Human Services, which will evaluate him for further recommendations.

He faces involuntarily confinement in a secure mental health facility for up to 60 years -- the maximum period he could have received in prison if convicted of murder. A judge would have to sign off on any plans to release him, prosecutors said.

Desai's mother declined to comment outside of court. The case is due back in front of Kleeman in March.

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