Aurora woman not guilty by insanity in 2013 stabbing death

Updated 4/22/2015 7:33 PM
  • Amy L. Zuniga

    Amy L. Zuniga

A judge found a 46-year-old Aurora woman not guilty by reason of insanity in the October 2013 stabbing death of her cousin.

Amy L. Zuniga will now be evaluated by the state and possibly placed in a treatment facility -- where she is not free to leave -- until deemed safe for society.

Zuniga had faced up to 60 years in prison for the death of Reynaldo C. Galvan, 68.

"We had presented clear and convincing evidence that at the time of the offense, (Zuniga) was unable to appreciate the criminality of her conduct," said Zuniga's defense attorney Kathleen Colton. "This is not a situation having to do with drugs. This is a situation having to do with mental illness."

Colton said she could not elaborate on Zuniga's condition because of client and health confidentiality laws, but noted that after a stipulated bench trial, Kane County Judge Clint Hull determined Zuniga suffered from a "psychotic illness" that caused Galvan's death.

According to police, authorities were called at 1:40 a.m. Oct. 3, 2013, to Zuniga's home on the 800 block of Front Street for a possibly suicidal subject.

There, police found Zuniga and her husband, both with superficial stab wounds. Zuniga then took officers to the basement, where they found Galvan on the floor with a kitchen knife in his chest, police said.

Prosecutors also dismissed attempted murder charges against Zuniga for her husband's wounds.

"After a review of the evidence and the defendant's mental health at the time of the crime, this was the appropriate outcome for this defendant," said State's Attorney Joe McMahon.

Colton said Zuniga had received strong support from her family and that Zuniga was relieved trial phase was over.

"This was a just outcome," Colton said. "My interest is to see that my client receives (mental health) treatment and isn't carted off to prison."

Colton said a representative from the Illinois Department of Human Services has 30 day to conduct an evaluation of Zuniga, who is being held at the county jail.

If the evaluator decides Zuniga needs mental health services, a commitment hearing will then be held, Colton said.

Zuniga is next due in court on May 13.

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