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updated: 10/5/2017 4:26 PM

Last-minute fitness request in St. Charles attempted murder case riles judge

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  • Scott J. Turyna says he has memory loss and can't assist in his defense in a trial of attempted murder of his now ex-wife.

    Scott J. Turyna says he has memory loss and can't assist in his defense in a trial of attempted murder of his now ex-wife.


A St. Charles man accused of beating his wife and firing several shots at her in May 2016 before being disarmed, says he has short-term memory loss, is unable to assist in his own defense and wants an evaluation whether he is fit for trial.

The last-minute request, filed Thursday, angered Kane County Judge D.J. Tegeler, as Scott J. Turyna's trial for attempted murder is set for Tuesday.

"You wait a year and a half, a day before trial to bring this to the court to say your client might not be fit?" Tegeler asked Turyna's attorneys, Robert and Alison Motta. "It's been set for trial for four months."

The motion filed on behalf of Turyna, 66, argues his memory loss prevents him from assisting in his defense.

"The defendant suffers short term memory loss and has no knowledge or recollection of the events leading up to the shooting or his actions," read part of a motion submitted by the attorneys, who requested an evaluation for Turyna and subsequent fitness hearing. "The defendant has no recollection of how the victim sustained her physical injuries."

Turyna faces attempted murder and felony domestic battery charges stemming from the episode on Hunt Club Drive in St. Charles.

According to police, then St. Charles District 303 School Board President Steve Spurling and his wife, Diana, were walking their dog, when a garage door opened and a bloodied woman ran out and fell on the driveway.

Spurling's wife went to comfort the woman and the three began walking down the sidewalk when an intoxicated Turyna came out, pulled a gun and began firing, according to authorities and court records.

Spurling tackled Turyna, kicked the gun away and held him on the ground until police arrived, according to authorities.

Tegeler asked the attorneys when their client lost his memory or when they noticed Turyna had memory problems and was possibly unfit. Neither attorney gave a specific answer.

"Defendant doesn't even believe it happened," Alison Motta said.

Tegeler said the defense attorneys should have informed the court immediately, not on the eve of trial. He said he will make a ruling Tuesday on whether to order Turyna's evaluation.

If convicted of attempted murder and firing the gun, Turyna faces a minimum of 26 years in prison. He is free on bond while the case is pending.

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