Report: Crystal Lake man insane at time of attempted murder

  • Willie M. Terry

    Willie M. Terry

Published: 8/26/2009 1:46 PM | Updated: 8/26/2009 1:46 PM

A Louisiana native who fled Hurricane Katrina only to end up charged a year later in Crystal Lake with trying to kill his girlfriend was insane at the time of the attack and remains mentally unfit to stand trial, according to a pair of recent psychological evaluations.

As a result, Willie M. Terry, 48, appears headed for a discharge hearing, a quasi-trial proceeding at which a judge will hear evidence and determine whether there is enough to find him either guilty, not guilty by reason of insanity or not guilty.

"He was insane at the time the alleged offense took place and couldn't appreciate the criminality of his behavior," Terry's attorney, Senior Assistant Public Defender Christopher Harmon, said. "Because of his mental illness, he continues to be severely delusional."

Terry faces charges of attempted murder, aggravated domestic battery, aggravated battery and armed violence stemming from a Sept. 6, 2006, attack on his girlfriend in the Crystal Lake apartment they shared after escaping the 2005 hurricane.

Afterward, court documents indicate, Terry told police he repeatedly stabbed the 54-year-old woman because she had become a demon and God had ordered him to kill her.

He was found unfit to stand trial in October 2006 and spent about nine months in a state mental health facility before a judge decided in June 2007 he was fit. Three months later, however, a court declared him unfit again and he has remained in that condition ever since.

If, after the discharge hearing, Terry is found not guilty by reason of insanity, he will be committed to a state mental institution for up to 30 years. If the court rules there is enough evidence to declare him guilty, he will remain in a facility for up to five years while psychologists attempt to make him mentally fit for a regular trial.