Elgin library trustee unfit for trial, state will prescribe treatment
Randall Hopp, a Gail Borden Public Library trustee whose behavior has resulted in him being banned from the library itself, was ruled unfit by a jury Tuesday to stand trial on felony charges that he battered his elderly parents.
The ruling means Hopp, 61, of the 1500 block of Pamela Court, Elgin, must be prescribed a treatment plan by the Illinois Department of Human Services in hopes that he can be fit for trial within a year.
After the decision, which took jurors two hours to make, Kane County Judge Marmarie Kostelny ordered Hopp taken to the county jail until an evaluation by DHS or a private doctor is complete.
Hopp is next due in court on Sept. 19 for an update on his progress.
"The court's goal now is to restore him to fitness," said Kane County Assistant State' Attorney Jamie Mosser.
Hopp was elected in spring 2009 and his term runs through April 2013.
He was banned from the Gail Borden Library because of aggressive behavior toward staff members and also banned from the library at Judson University.
Hopp's ban is up at the Gail Borden library July 1, but policy states he must undergo an interview process to regain his entry privileges.
"We are saddened by this situation and hope he gets the help he needs," library board Vice President Jean Bednar said. "However, we continue to view these circumstances through a lens in which the safety of the patrons and staff come first."
Dr. Timothy Brown, a licensed clinical psychologist and director of the Kane County Diagnostic Center, testified Tuesday that he evaluated Hopp. He testified that it's his opinion that Hopp, who has been supported by his parents since 1971, is paranoid and has grandiose thoughts that he is better than others.
Brown said Hopp understood the roles of the judge, prosecutors and public defenders, but was convinced they all were conspiring against him and that the outcome is preordained before any type of trial.
Brown said Hopp would be unable to assist with his defense because he distrusts Assistant Public Defenders Eun Yoon and Brenda Willett, who are representing him.
Brown added that Hopp was depressed that he failed at his postgraduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and that he suffers from "delusional disorder, persecutory type."
"It is my opinion that he is not fit to stand trial," Brown said. "He doesn't have any insight or awareness that there is something wrong with him. It's the world against Mr. Hopp, which is not necessarily true."
Hopp was arrested in March 2011 on misdemeanor domestic battery charges after an altercation at his parents' home, where he also lives.
Authorities upgraded the charges against him in December to felonies.
If convicted, Hopp faces anywhere between probation to five years in prison.
Elgin police were called to the 1500 block of Pamela Drive on March 16, 2011, and Hopp's father told police that his son entered his parents' kitchen and began yelling and swearing at his mother, police said.
When his 82-year-old father tried to pull him back, Hopp punched him in the back five or six times, police said. Later, when his 80-year-old mother tried to use the phone, Hopp punched her in the upper arm, police said.
Back in December 2011, when the charges were upgraded, Hopp said the move was part of a conspiracy to get him off the library board, or at least "out of the way."
"(Prosecutors) have been threatening to do that since the beginning. They've also known since the beginning that they have no case. They've done this to do something to make me miserable," Hopp said at the time, adding that his parents will not testify against him in the case. "(Prosecutors are) going to play the last card they can play."
• Daily Herald staff writer Tara Garcia Mathewson contributed to this story.