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updated: 5/1/2014 2:12 PM

Westmont murder suspect unfit for trial

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  • William Clifford

      William Clifford

 
 

A man accused of fatally stabbing his father in 2011 at an extended-stay hotel in Westmont has been found unfit to stand trial because of a mental condition.

William V. Clifford III, 35, is charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the slaying of his 63-year-old father, also named William Clifford. If convicted, he could be sentenced to 20 to 60 years in prison.

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Assistant State's Attorney Helen Kapas said Clifford recently was released from DuPage County jail and taken to an inpatient rehabilitation facility run by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Attorneys hope to see a treatment plan from the department in time for Clifford's May 8 court appearance. Once the plan to improve his mental state is in place, Clifford's progress will be monitored in 90-day increments until his faculties are deemed restored enough to stand trial.

Clifford is accused of repeatedly stabbing his father about 1:10 p.m. May 28, 2011, at Homestead Studio Suites, 855 Pasquinelli Drive in Westmont.

According to court records, a witness reported hearing screams in a third-floor hallway and looked out to see the defendant on top of the victim, stabbing him. The witness later identified Clifford in a lineup, according to the allegations.

Authorities said the victim, an Aurora resident, had rented a hotel suite for his son about a month earlier, after the defendant was kicked out of a Chicago YMCA for having alcohol. Prosecutors said the killing happened after the father and son began to argue during a visit.

Police arrived to find the elder Clifford bleeding from several stab wounds, and he was pronounced dead a short time later. Prosecutors said the younger Clifford initially fled but was apprehended when he returned to the scene in a white T-shirt covered in blood.

Clifford, who has prior arrests in California, South Dakota and Texas, has no other recent criminal history in DuPage.

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