Crime & Courts

Jury selection starts in trial for 2012 murder

WOODSTOCK – Jury selection will begin Monday for a Huntley man charged in the beating death of his live-in girlfriend.

Robert Signorile, 44, was charged March 26, 2012, with first-degree murder for the death of 52-year-old Michelle C. Mathieu. He is accused of striking her repeatedly, knowing that such acts created a strong probability of death or bodily harm.

Authorities were called to the couple’s home in Sun City Huntley where Mathieu was found in the master bedroom unconscious and face down in vomit.

She was taken to Sherman Hospital in Elgin where she died six days later.

Mathieu had fractured ribs and spine, a blown pupil and significant head trauma, Assistant State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said in court documents.

Signorile has said that Mathieu was prone to seizures that caused her to lose consciousness and fall. In court documents his attorneys, public defenders Rick Behof and Angelo Mourelatos have said Mathieu had a history of alcohol abuse that could have played a role in injuries similar to the ones she sustained.

Court records show that Signorile was charged seven months before Mathieu’s death with domestic battery. In that incident he’s said to have punched her repeatedly and dragged her by her hair.

For that incident, he was sentenced to a year of supervision and ordered to pay a $263 fine and undergo anger counseling.

Statements from Mathieu’s close friends and family are expected to be introduced at trial. At a previous hearing, Mathieu’s friends and family testified that she had confided in them about the deteriorating relationship leading up to her death.

She told some she was afraid Signorile would kill her and others said Mathieu had bruises that were believed were the result of physical abuse.

Signorile has been in custody awaiting trial at the McHenry County Jail in lieu of $2 million bond.

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather will preside over the trial that is expected to last the week.

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