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updated: 10/30/2014 1:16 PM

Attorney concerned with safety of woman who slashed daughter's throat

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  • Marci Webber

    Marci Webber

 
 

Attorneys for a woman who slashed her 4-year-old daughter's throat in 2010 in Bloomingdale say the woman is now lucid and being mistreated at the secure mental health facility where she is committed.

Marci Webber, 47, of East Nassau, New York, is serving a maximum 100-year commitment at Elgin Mental Health Center after being found not guilty of the November 2010 slaying of her daughter, Maggie, by reason of insanity after a 2012 bench trial.

Webber's new attorney, Terrence Johnson, filed a motion Monday and came before DuPage County Judge George Bakalis Wednesday seeking an emergency order of protection against a specific security therapy aide "and any other state agents" at the Elgin facility "who have sole custody and control" of Webber.

According to the filing, Webber was in a day room at the facility Saturday when the aide told Webber: "Stop your breath. Go in your room and kill yourself."

When Webber responded by telling the agent to "get a gun and do it," the agent is accused of threatening to slit her throat.

Bakalis denied the motion.

The Illinois Department of Human Services, however, is vowing to look into Webber's claims.

"Patient safety is a priority at our mental health hospitals and we take such allegations very seriously," department spokeswoman Januari Smith said. "Although the judge denied today's motion, out of an abundance of caution, we have launched an internal investigation to ensure all department policies and procedures were followed."

Johnson argued Bakalis has jurisdiction over Webber since he sentenced her to the Elgin facility and has the ability to protect her while in custody. But Bakalis would not hear the argument.

"I have no jurisdiction over employees in Elgin," Bakalis said. "I'm not going to entertain this."

Bakalis found Webber not guilty after a psychologist testified she was suffering from paranoid delusions when she slashed her daughter's throat while visiting a relative in Bloomingdale. Webber told investigators she killed the child to protect her from sexual predators and the devil.

Outside court, Johnson said he is considering other avenues, including filing the motion in Kane County or in federal court.

"We will continue our search for the appropriate relief," Johnson said.

Johnson will be before Bakalis again Nov. 10 to seek permission to allow Webber to retain mental health experts in support of her request to be either discharged or conditionally released from the Elgin facility.

Should she eventually be released, Johnson said Webber's family is ready to take her in.

"She has strong family ties in the area and they want to help her in any way they can," he said.

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