ALGONQUIN – More than two and a half years after he was accused of fatally shooting his father, an Algonquin teen is expected to enter a guilty but mentally ill plea to second-degree murder.
David W. Szalonek, now 19, was 16 when he shot 51-year-old Brian Szalonek in the head with a shotgun Feb. 8, 2010, in their Algonquin home.
The younger Szalonek has Asperger syndrome, which is a form of autism, defense attorney Brian Telander said. About six months before the shooting, Szalonek spent six weeks at an Alexian Brothers hospital for psychiatric care.
Telander said he and prosecutors have discussed the plea agreement but still are working on a specific sentence.
“I presented the state with an extensive mitigation package, which includes the mental disabilities that [David Szalonek] is suffering from,” Telander said.
He said he expects the case to be resolved by the next scheduled court date Nov. 14.
Because of his age at the time of the shooting, Szalonek was housed in a juvenile detention facility. When he turned 18, he was moved into the adult section of the Kane County Jail. His bond is set at $2.5 million.
If Szalonek were to go to trial and be convicted of first-degree murder, he would face a minimum of 20 years in prison. A second-degree murder conviction would mean a sentencing range between four and 20 years, as well as day-for-day credit for time served.
Second-degree murder, according to Illinois law, means that the person is provoked and acts under “a sudden and intense passion,” but negligently or accidentally kills. A person is also guilty of second-degree murder if he or she believes that the circumstances would justify the killing.
The home on Westbourne Parkway where the shooting happened is in the Kane County portion of the village. Algonquin police investigated, but the case is being handled in Kane County Circuit Court.
According to a search warrant, police were dispatched to the Szaloneks’ home at 7:45 p.m. David Szalonek was found a short time later at a home about a five-minute drive away.
Szalonek allegedly told a young woman at that home that he had killed his father.
McHenry County court records show that Szalonek’s mother, Jerilyn Szalonek, twice sought orders of protection and accused her husband of physical violence dating to 1987. She also alleged that he withheld financial assistance to her and her three children, according to her February 2004 petition for an order of protection.