A McHenry County judge signed a court order Thursday morning clearing the way for a former Arlington Heights man's release from a Tennessee prison and return to Illinois to face charges stemming from the grisly 2009 slaying of a homeless man.
The order, approved by Judge Joseph Condon, was sought by Tennessee corrections officials before they agreed to the extradition of Kyle W. Morgan, who is serving a five-year prison term there for driving over two people while trying to escape police in downtown Nashville.
The incident occurred, authorities said, as Morgan was fleeing from Illinois after the Jan. 19, 2009, discovery of a 28-year-old man brutally beaten and stabbed to death inside Morgan's Woodstock apartment. There also was evidence the victim, Robin A. Burton, had been mutilated.
Assistant McHenry County State's Attorney Michael Combs said Tennessee authorities now have 30 days to respond to the court order. Correspondence from state prison officials included in Morgan's court file indicates they will approve his transfer back to Illinois to face two counts of first-degree murder.
Morgan's attorney Steven McArdle did not object to the court order and declined further comment on the case Thursday.
Authorities have said little about a possible motive for the killing, but Morgan's family has said he has a long history of mental illness.
Morgan, who worked as an artist before the murder, had a strong interested in serial killers - both real and fictional - and referred to himself as "Thrill Kill Kyle," according to his MySpace Web page. Photos posted on the Internet showed Morgan with tattoos reading "Serial Killer" and "666."
He did not have a serious criminal history before the murder allegations, but police in Arlington Heights said he was involved in a bizarre episode there in July 2008.
According to police, Morgan seriously injured himself when he cut his own wrists and jumped off a second-floor balcony in downtown Arlington Heights after an argument with his girlfriend. The girlfriend told officers she and Morgan were sitting in a residence when he suddenly got up, began choking her then pulled out a razor and slit his wrists, police said.
Morgan spent about a week in a hospital recovering from his injuries and his girlfriend never pressed charges, police said.