Man who shot conductor to be released to a secure senior facility

The 80-year-old Wisconsin man who was charged with the attempted murder of an Amtrak conductor last May in Naperville, but found unfit to stand trial, could soon be headed to a secure senior living facility.

After a brief hearing Wednesday, Judge Jeffrey MacKay said he doubts Edward Klein will ever be restored to fitness and released him to a facility in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, that specializes in care for patients with dementia. Prosecutors said the DuPage County sheriff is prepared to transport Klein as soon as Thursday.

Doctors have diagnosed Klein with an impaired cognition disorder and dementia and said he suffers from a major neuro-cognitive disorder.

MacKay said there are “compelling reasons not to remand (Klein) to the Illinois Department of Human Services,” and he thinks Klein will receive more appropriate care in the private facility.

MacKay ordered the facility to provide written reports on Klein's condition every 120 days. The order prohibits Klein from leaving the facility, except for an emergency medical situation.

Assistant State's Attorney Mike Pawl and Assistant Public Defender Jennifer Maples agreed this was the best scenario for Klein.

Cheryl Koncar, a registered nurse who owns and operates Close to Home Senior Living in Wauwatosa, said she was familiar with the charges Klein faced and his legal situation.

“My staff is waiting for him,” she said.

Koncar said Klein would reside in a secure 20-bed home designed for dementia patients. She said medical personnel are brought to the facility to treat patients, so patients are never released into the community. On-site staff also assist with hygiene needs, such as bathing.

“We provide a homelike environment so residents can age with dignity,” Koncar said.

Klein, of West Allis, Wisconsin, has been held in DuPage County Jail on $1.5 million bail, charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count each of aggravated battery, aggravated discharge of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

The conductor, Michael Case of Homewood, testified earlier in the detention hearing that Klein was disoriented and frustrated during a May 16 Amtrak trip from Kansas City to Chicago and demanded to get off the train in Naperville.

Case, who was aware of a plan to escort Klein at Union Station and get him home safely to Wisconsin, closed and locked the train doors to keep the “enraged and belligerent” Klein on the train.

While Case was assisting other customers with their baggage and preparing to continue to Chicago, Klein reached out an open window and shot him with a .38 caliber revolver.

Case, who was struck in the abdomen, spent six weeks in the hospital recovering from his injuries.

He previously said he hopes Klein is placed somewhere he can get help but is not allowed to leave.

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