Judge: Westmont man legally insane in fatal attack on dad

  • Rostyslav Demtsyo

    Rostyslav Demtsyo

Published: 6/2/2010 11:11 AM | Updated: 6/2/2010 5:35 PM

A mentally ill Westmont man was legally insane when he fatally stabbed his father, a DuPage County judge ruled Wednesday.

The finding means 30-year-old Rostyslav Demtsyo will be treated in a secured state mental institution for most of his life rather than be sent to prison.

Circuit Judge Kathryn Creswell found him not guilty by reason of insanity of first-degree murder after hearing from uncontested experts who agreed Demtsyo could not appreciate the criminality of his conduct because of his mental disease.

State officials are expected in the next 30 days to draft a treatment plan, which will include the location of Demtsyo's placement. He may be held up to 60 years.

Demtsyo will have to get a judge's approval before being released back into society, but his attorneys Michael Mara and Tony Coco said they believe with treatment he could be free again someday.

"He's fully aware that he caused his father's death," Mara said, "and even though he didn't have any intent and there's nothing he could do, he's very remorseful. It's sad, but this was the best result for him."

Experts agreed Demtsyo suffers from a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Demtsyo was being treated for major depression, but he was not taking any antipsychotic medication to control increasingly paranoid delusional thoughts.

At 9:15 p.m. Nov. 19, 2008, police rushed to an altercation between Demtsyo and his 53-year-old father, Oleg, outside their home in Westmont. The first police officer arrived within minutes, but authorities said the son fled. Oleg Demtsyo suffered more than 30 stab wounds. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.

Police caught up with the younger Demtsyo's Dodge Stratus after spotting him traveling south near Cass Avenue and 55th Street. Rescuers rushed five people from the three cars, including Demtsyo, to area hospitals after he sparked a crash. Initially, Demtsyo was put into a drug-induced coma to stabilize him. An arrest warrant was issued Jan. 13, 2009, and he was released from the hospital into police custody one day later.

His mother, Irina, called 911 after witnessing the violent dispute in the family driveway, Prosecutor Mary Cronin said. Cronin said the defendant's mother told police her son became violent after growing paranoid and delusional that Oleg had "set him up" with counterfeit money.

Irina Demtsyo was so alarmed by her son's erratic behavior, she called his psychiatrist earlier that day but was unable to reach him immediately. Rostyslav Demtsyo had visited a half dozen police departments in recent months to complain of a conspiracy against him and believed co-workers were trying to sabotage him. On the day of the murder, during a trip with his father to a local pet store, Rostyslav Demtsyo associated letters and names of fish with the CIA and foreign mafia groups. He believed a store handout about how to keep fish tank water clean contained instructions to destroy the public water system, which he believed was his duty to save.

Irina Demtsyo attended most of her son's court hearings since the family tragedy and supports getting her son treatment rather than sending him to prison. She buried her face in her hands and wept Wednesday as Creswell ruled on Demtsyo's fate.

Demtsyo, who worked as an ATM repair man, did not have a prior violent criminal history.

He showed no outward emotion during the brief hearing before being led back to his cell.