Trial date set for Downers Grove man accused of mother's slaying
A Downers Grove man charged with the August 2013 shooting death of his mother outside a Burr Ridge church is scheduled to stand trial in February.
The trial for Michael Zaky Bassaly originally was scheduled to begin Tuesday but his attorney, Marc Wolfe, sought the delay earlier this month when it was learned one of Bassaly's key witnesses likely would be unavailable.
Authorities say Homeland Security agents were closing in on Bassaly, a 30-year-old Egyptian immigrant, just two days before the murder, for fraud related to government asylum applications.
He's accused of shooting and killing his mother, 61-year-old Yvonne Baky Bassaly, about 1 a.m. on Aug. 29, 2013, in the parking lot of St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church in Burr Ridge. Police found her in the back seat of a parked 2005 Cadillac. She was pronounced dead within the hour.
On the dashboard of her car, detectives found a sealed envelope with letters addressed to the FBI in which Michael Bassaly said he killed his mother "to protect her from the result of the investigation" and planned to take his own life.
He later directed investigators to his home. There, police found copy machines, passports, checks, business cards and letterheads falsely identifying him as a lawyer, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Bassaly's mother had been visiting from Florida and may have believed her son was a recent graduate of Loyola University.
In a police interview, Bassaly said he planned to commit suicide because of the investigation and his mother wanted to die with him. Prosecutors said he told detectives they drove to the church parking lot to pray. At another point, he claimed the gun "went off," they said.
Wolfe has said he believes the victim killed herself while her son tried to stop her.
If convicted, Bassaly could face natural life in prison. He has been held without bail since he was charged on Aug. 29. 2013.