Discharge hearing set for mom declared insane after killing girl in Bloomingdale
Less than a year after being told her behavior had regressed, Marci Webber is being granted a new discharge hearing with the possibility of being released from the Elgin Mental Health Center.
DuPage County Judge George Bakalis scheduled the hearing for May 7-9 following arguments Wednesday from Webber's new attorney, Justin Schwartz, who believes Webber should already be out of custody.
Webber, 51, was sentenced to a lifetime of involuntary commitment in 2012 after she was found not guilty of first-degree murder by reason of insanity. Authorities said she slashed her daughter's throat at her mother's home in Bloomingdale and then turned the knife on herself.
Webber, who blamed the 2010 episode on psychotropic medicine, has not taken medication in four years and said she would continue to be drug-free, even if the drugs were ordered as part of her eventual discharge plan.
"Marci has a rock-solid legal basis for being discharged today," Schwartz said outside court. "If she's not insane, which she's not, and not a threat to herself or anyone else, which she's not, she needs to be released. The law is very clear."
Following psychologist testimony in September 2017 that Webber was ready for release and her symptoms were in remission, Bakalis ordered the director of the Chicago-Read Mental Health Center to establish a plan for her release.
The conditions he set out included transferring Webber from the acute care unit into the chronic care unit and for her to be granted unsupervised ground privileges for two months.
But a February 2018 suicide attempt got Webber transferred back to Elgin. Bakalis said last May that reports since her return to Elgin have not been favorable.
Schwartz said Webber is the victim of continual harassment by a few staff members, which has caused her to act out. Schwartz said since Webber has been back in Elgin she has been the subject of regular body cavity searches and daily room searches.
"I would suggest that I would question anyone who didn't react negatively to such treatment," he said. "She needs to get out. She's being unconstitutionally detained in what is essentially a prison hospital."
A March 15 status date was set to address the harassment accusations and accusations that the health department has not been giving Webber her mail, including items from Schwartz.
The discharge hearing is then scheduled to last three days when it begins at 10 a.m. May 7.