Crime & Courts

Driver fit for murder trial, experts say

WOODSTOCK – A Round Lake Beach man is fit to stand trial for murder in an August 2011 crash that killed a Woodstock mother of four, mental health experts say.

A clinical psychologist’s report earlier found that Luis E. Ramirez-Arguelles, 23, was mentally unfit, and in September McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather ordered him taken into custody by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Ramirez-Arguelles received treatment at the Elgin Mental Health Center for several weeks and on Thursday was remanded to the McHenry County Jail.

A hearing on whether he has been restored to fitness is set for Feb. 20.

Mental competency, or fitness, pertains to a defendant’s current mental status; insanity deals with whether a person was legally able to tell the difference between right and wrong while committing a crime.

Police have said the crash was an intentional act, not an accident.

About 7 a.m. Aug. 5, 2011, Ramirez-Arguelles was driving a 1997 Ford Expedition west on Tryon Grove Road just east of Barnard Mill Road near Hebron, police said. He was in the eastbound lane trying to pass two other vehicles when he collided head-on with a 2003 Mitsubishi Outlander driven by Sonia Hume, 38.

According to the criminal complaint, Ramirez-Arguelles “killed Sonia Hume by knowingly ramming his vehicle into her vehicle, knowing such act created a strong probability of death or great bodily harm.”

Hume was pronounced dead at the scene. Ramirez-Arguelles was taken to Centegra Hospital – McHenry with a leg injury.

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