Crime & Courts

IDHS: Man who killed mother now unable to be treated for mental illness

James Trzcinski
James Trzcinski

The Illinois Department of Human Services is unable to provide mental health care to a Crystal Lake man who stabbed his mother to death in 2010 and whose health rapidly deteriorated in the past year, his attorney said.

James E. Trzcinski has been under the watch of the IDHS since he was found not guilty by reason of insanity in connection with the 2010 stabbing death of his mother, Dorothy Trzcinski. James Trzcinski has been a patient at a Cook County hospital since July, however, where a brain injury and other medical conditions have rendered him unresponsive, McHenry County Assistant Public Defender Kim Messer wrote in a Dec. 31 motion.

The mental health services that James Trzcinski receives are the result of a judge's Nov. 1 2011, verdict.

Following a fitness hearing, former McHenry County Judge Joseph Condon determined that James Trzcinski was not guilty but was legally insane when he killed his mother on March 5, 2010. Police found 80-year-old Dorothy Trzcinski with more than 40 stab wounds inside the home she shared with James Trzcinski on Crystal Lake Avenue near Cary. A 911 call used as evidence at the time, captured some of Dorothy Trzcinski's final moments, wailing as her son allegedly stabbed her.

James Trzcinski, who has a history of schizophrenia, was off his medication at the time of the time of the his mother's death, police have said.

James Trzcinski's mental health treatment continued under IDHS watch until he suffered a fall on March 26, 2019, Messer wrote. The fall fractured his hip and surgery only led to further medical complications, according to his attorney.

James Trzcinski ultimately diagnosed with – "a rare, but serious, reaction to certain psychotropic medications," Messer wrote, adding that James Trzcinski's psychotropic medication was subsequently discontinued.

At that time, James Trzcinski was capable of making eye contact, could "move his upper extremities to a small degree," and was being fed through a tube, Messer said.

James Trzcinski's conditions has since worsened. During his hospital stay he was diagnosed with pneumonia, received a tracheostomy, and was placed on a ventilator. He also suffered a brain injury caused by multiple cardiac arrests, Messer said.

James Trzcinski was transferred to Provident Hospital of Cook County on July 25 and his condition remains unchanged, his attorney said. Still, IDHS is required to have a staff member sit with Jame Trzcinski around the clock.

"Given defendant's medical condition, this is unnecessary," Messer wrote in her Dec. 31 motion. "Defendant is no risk to the community under the circumstances, and is unlikely to recover in any appreciable fashion in the future."

The McHenry County State's Attorney's Office could not immediately be reached to comment.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for Jan. 28.

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