Carol Stream man guilty of mom's murder

A DuPage County jury found a Carol Stream resident guilty Wednesday of his mother's murder in an argument prosecutors said was sparked by her failure to get him Avril Lavigne concert tickets.

Seven men and five women deliberated about two hours before finding Robert R. Lyons, 39, guilty of first-degree murder in the March 2008 slaying of 61-year-old Linda Bolek.

Jurors also found Lyons' crime particularly brutal and heinous, making him eligible for a life prison term. He is expected to be sentenced in November.

Lyons showed no emotion as he learned of his fate. Moments later outside the courtroom, Linda Bolek's twin sister said jurors gave the right verdict.

“She was a good mother,” Pat Lowry said of her sister. “She did the best she could.”

Assistant State's Attorney Ann Celine O'Hallaren said no one deserved to die the way Bolek did — at the hands of her son. “It was a tragic loss to many people who loved her,” O'Hallaren said.

In closing arguments, prosecutors argued Lyons' pent-up rage prompted him to stab his mother to death more than three years ago in their Carol Stream condominium.

Assistant State's Attorney Amanda J. Meindl said Lyons went into the kitchen that day looking for a fight. She said Lyons' anger toward his mother had been “building for a long time.”

“The defendant had a plan to kill Linda Bolek,” Meindl said, “and put that plan into action.”

Prosecutors said Lyons struck his mother twice in the head with a liquor bottle before stabbing her nine times and showering her body with household chemicals. What set Lyons off, they've argued, was his mother's failure to get him Avril Lavigne concert tickets.

Bolek was found slain by police responding to a well-being check and possible domestic situation. Authorities arrested Lyons that evening at a restaurant in Schaumburg.

Also during closing arguments, Lyons' defense attorney tried to convince the jury that Lyons was roused to rage during a March 14, 2008 argument in which his mother threatened him with a knife.

Defense attorney Mark Lyon asked the jury that if Lyons were found guilty, it should be for second-degree murder.

“We're asking you to convict him for what he is guilty of,” Lyon said, “and not for something he's not.”