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updated: 1/17/2013 7:38 PM

Elgin woman unfit for trial in frying pan murder case

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  • Nora Leach Peterson

    Nora Leach Peterson


An Elgin woman accused of first-degree murder for hitting her boyfriend with a frying pan -- which led to his death in August -- has been declared unfit to stand trial.

According to court records, Nora Leach Peterson, 35, of the 100 block of State Street, was interviewed four times by a psychologist at the Kane County Diagnostic Center.

The psychologist prepared a sealed report on Dec. 18; prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed on the report's contents before Judge James Hallock.

"(Peterson) is remanded to the Department of Human Services for a program for fitness restoration and psychiatric treatment, aimed to restore her fitness," according to court records.

A treatment report is due at her next court date on March 7.

Assistant State's Attorney Greg Sams, the lead prosecutor in the case, could not be reached for comment. Assistant Public Defender Beth Peccarelli also could not be reached.

Peterson was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Michael N. Mielczarek, 55. Authorities have said she hit him on the head with a frying pan, causing him to fall and sustain a head injury that resulted in his death on Aug. 18.

According to a search warrant, Peterson initially told police that she threw a cereal bowl at Mielczarek, causing him to fall. Police who responded to their apartment found him unresponsive on the floor. his wound on the back of his head caused by "blunt force trauma," along with several pools of blood, according to the warrant.

Peterson had been held on $750,000 bail; authorities have a year to restore her to fitness for trial and if convicted, she faces between 20 to 60 years in prison.

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