A man accused of murdering and then sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend collapsed in front of a DuPage County judge Friday, just seconds after she denied his request for release on bond.
Sheriff's deputies rushed to assist Adam Belmont, 23, as he curled into a fetal position and put his shackled hands over his face. From the galley, Belmont's father yelled for him to "breathe" while the room was evacuated.
Defense attorney Vince Miceli said his client "became lightheaded and passed out without losing consciousness." The spectacle unfolded after prosecutors told Fawell of the charges, which include allegations of necrophilia.
"I don't know if it was just hearing everything at once," Miceli said outside of court. "He just dropped like someone shot him -- straight down, boom. He just said he got lightheaded."
Belmont, of Northlake, is accused of slaying Alyssa Van Meter, 25, late last Saturday inside the Woodridge apartment they once shared.
Prosecutors said he scaled the building to break into the second-story unit, then plunged a pocket knife into her heart when she refused to rekindle their relationship, which had ended about a week earlier. He also is accused of stripping naked and performing a sex act on the victim's body after killing her.
Miceli said Belmont reported he hasn't been sleeping since his arrest and has been unable to wear his eyeglasses because he's considered a high-risk county jail inmate. Belmont hoped to be taken off high-risk watch soon, Miceli said.
When court resumed, the defendant was shackled to a wheelchair and casually tapped his leg with his right hand. Fawell asked him if he was OK.
"Yes, ma'am," he said.
Belmont, who has no prior criminal record, was previously denied bail by a different judge but had petitioned Fawell to take a second look. His attorney said he hoped to return to work as a tow-truck driver to raise money for his defense.
"His company does know of the offense and they are willing to still employ him," Miceli said.
Fawell swiftly rejected the request based on prosecutors' representation they have "overwhelming" evidence, including the murder weapon, a detailed confession and a video of Belmont re-enacting the crime.
Belmont's parents declined to comment as they left court. Miceli said he has yet to receive police reports but is conducting his own investigation.
"This was the first time I heard what the allegations are," he said.
Belmont returns to court Jan. 29.