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Woodstock murder suspect extradited to McHenry County, pleads not guilty

Bond set at $2M for 26-year-old accused of killing 53-year-old roommate

WOODSTOCK – The Woodstock man accused of murdering his roommate made his initial court appearances Friday in McHenry County.

Branden M. Napolitan, 26, had been in custody in Madison, Wisconsin, where he fled after allegedly killing 53-year-old Daryl K. Fox.

Napolitan is accused of stabbing, strangling and striking the man, then stealing his car before fleeing north. The alleged murder happened on Oct. 10 at their 680 Leah Lane apartment. Court documents allege Napolitan admitted to investigators that he stabbed Fox in the back, but he couldn’t remember where the knife was.

Napolitan had fought extradition from Wisconsin. He was booked at the McHenry County Jail at 10:40 a.m. Thursday. On Friday, a McHenry County judge set his bond at $2 million.

Later on Friday morning, he was brought before Judge Sharon Prather, who will preside over the case. Napolitan pleaded not guilty to all the charges, including four counts of first-degree murder and unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

Assistant Public Defender Angelo Mourelatos has been appointed to defend Napolitan.

Mourelatos ordered a psychological evaluation, adding outside the courtroom that Napolitan has a history of mental health issues.

Woodstock police have said Napolitan twice sought mental health treatment days before he stabbed Fox. The day before the alleged murder, Napolitan called Centegra Specialty Hospital – Woodstock seeking treatment.

Police in Madison also had two contacts with Napolitan before they knew he was wanted in Illinois. In one instance, police there said he was eating ice cream in the middle of a grocery store aisle when they arrived. In the other, a Madison resident reported Napolitan was in her yard acting strangely.

According to search warrants related to this case, Napolitan’s mother urged police to check on Fox after he didn’t report to work. She also reported just after the alleged murder, her son sent her a text that simply read “mom.”

Fox’s father, sister and best friend appeared in court Friday, as did Napolitan’s family. Outside court, Fox’s sister, who wished not to be identified, said her brother was a wonderful man and the family hoped for swift justice in the case.

According to his obituary, he recently began attending Willow Creek Community Church and planned on being baptized. He is survived by an adult son, a stepson, his father, two brothers and two sisters.

Napolitan’s next court date is Jan. 7.

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