Crime & Courts

Man charged in attempted murder-suicide suffers from brain injury, attorney says

36-year-old charged in attempted murder-suicide

A man charged in an attempted murder-suicide suffers from serious brain trauma, which prevents him from taking care of himself, court records show.

William R. Chrisman was arrested Feb. 27 upon his release from the hospital. The 36-year-old had been hospitalized for more than a month after the alleged attempted murder-suicide at his former McHenry home.

Chrisman is accused of waking his sleeping wife by pointing a gun in her face and pulling the trigger Jan. 15. He then shot himself in the head in front of two young children, according to motions filed in McHenry County court.

The woman was treated for a bullet graze wound and released shortly after, according to an order of protection granted in a divorce case between Chrisman and his wife.

The self-inflicted gunshot wound left Chrisman with poor memory and serious learning difficulties, his attorney wrote in a Feb. 28 motion. It is unclear how his condition might affect a potential trial.

Out on bond, Chrisman now lives with family members who supervise and take care of him, the motion stated.

It was not clear what prompted Chrisman to try to kill himself and his wife. Documents show that he had no criminal history in McHenry County. He previously filed for divorce in January 2016, but by May of the same year, the couple decided not to go through with it, and the case was dismissed, records show.

Representatives from the state’s attorney’s office and Crystal Lake-based law firm Donahue and Walsh could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Chrisman’s wife filed a new petition for divorce in March after her husband was released on bond, noting that she feared for her and her children’s safety.

Conditions of Chrisman’s bond include agreements that he stay at his parents’ alarmed and securely locked home under constant supervision.

Prosecutors’ request to keep Chrisman from seeing his children was denied. He is due in court May 4.

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