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Former Johnsburg man not guilty by reason of insanity on murder charge

Published: Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 3:49 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 11:32 p.m. CDT

WOODSTOCK – A judge Thursday found that a former Johnsburg man was not guilty in the stabbing death of his mother because he was insane at the time of the crime.

In declaring Raymond E. Davis, 24, not guilty by reason of insanity, McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather said prosecutors had proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Davis killed Carol Schritz. But psychiatrists have determined that Davis was legally insane.

Davis has a long history of mental illness, having been in and out of hospitals, Prather said. He previously was found mentally unfit to stand trial.

Neither Assistant State's Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein nor Public Defender Kim Messer disputed the facts of the case and neither side made arguments during the brief hearing Thursday afternoon.

Davis was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Schritz, 58, in November 2011, at the home they shared in Pistakee Highlands area near Johnsburg. Schritz suffered a single stab wound to her right upper chest.

Messer said Davis' mental state was "self explanatory." Legaly insanity means the defendant's mental illness has impaired him to the point that he could not comprehend the criminality of his conduct – essentially distinguish right from wrong.

In the courtroom, Davis was shackled at the hands and feet, appeared pale and had a scruffy beard. He didn't speak at this court appearance, but in the past he has said in open court that he was murdered and raped while at Chester Mental Health Center where he is being held.

Davis still believes his mother is alive and said he sees her at the maximum security mental health facility, Messer said.

Davis' family has said that he was living at Schritz's home for a week before the stabbing. Schritz had taken out an order of protection against her son in 2008, saying that he suffered from bipolar disorder and schizo-affective disorder with paranoid features. She said that Davis had threatened her with a butcher knife.

An upcoming hearing will determine Davis' need for mental health services, be it inpatient, outpatient or no services at all. The maximum time he can be committed to a mental health facility is for a time period not exceed what he would serve in prison if convicted – 60 years. The hearing will be Oct. 30.

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