Son charged with 2nd-degree murder in what attorney calls 'horrible accident'

  • Thomas J. Summerwill is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his mother, Mary, in March at their Campton Hills home.

    Thomas J. Summerwill is charged with second-degree murder in the death of his mother, Mary, in March at their Campton Hills home.

 
 
Updated 5/13/2019 6:28 PM

A 21-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder in the March 24 baseball-bat beating death of his mother inside their Campton Hills home, which his defense attorney said was a "horrible accident."

Thomas J. Summerwill surrendered to authorities Monday afternoon after the Kane County state's attorney's office authorized a criminal charge in the death of his mother, Mary Summerwill, attorney Liam Dixon said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Summerwill will appear in bond call Tuesday morning in Kane County. The charge carries a punishment ranging from probation to up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Dixon said his client, who just finished his junior year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has the full support of his family members, who are "disappointed" in the charges.

"We understand the state's position. There's no threat to the community. This has been a horrific, horrific occurrence," said Dixon, who noted his client thought there was an intruder in the house. "It does sound like it was a horrible accident."

According to authorities, a family member called police about 7 a.m. March 24 from the family house on the 40W600 block of Willowbrook Drive to report she'd been injured.

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Mary Summerwill, 53, died a short time later at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva. At the time, Campton Hills police said they were conducting a homicide investigation and there was no danger to the community at large.

The Kane County coroner's office ruled she died of cranial injuries and had no other wounds. Coroner Rob Russell said her injuries were consistent with being struck by a baseball bat.

Dixon said his client, a St. Charles North High School graduate and older of Summerwill's two sons, does not have any previous criminal arrests.

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