A homeless man's supposed history of psychiatric trouble and chronic drug abuse wasn't enough to get him a hearing to see if he's psychologically unfit to stand trial for murder.
The attorney for 43-year-old Michael Eberle engaged in a lengthy argument with a Will County judge Monday but could not convince him to grant a fitness hearing.
The judge, Robert Livas, grew visibly frustrated during the hearing and at one point stood up from the bench and paced before sitting down again.
Livas said he based his decision on reports from a psychologist, Eberle's medical and psychiatric records, and his own observation of Eberle in the courtroom.
"He seems perfectly rational to me in court," Livas said. "There's no outbursts. His demeanor's fine.
Eberle's attorney, Stewart Ferreira, argued repeatedly that a "bona fide doubt" as to whether Eberle is psychologically fit had already been established. Livas repeatedly argued that it had not.
"I'm not going to redo this 55 times," Livas told Ferreira.
After Livas made his decision, Eberle was finally arraigned on a six-count indictment. He has been in custody at the county jail for more than a year and a half.
Eberle was locked up after he allegedly broke into a Troy Township business and beat a worker to death in March 2012.
The murder of that worker, 69-year-old Patrick Shaughnessy, was the exclamation point to a one-man crime wave launched by Eberle, police said.
Eberle first allegedly tried and failed to force his way into a home in Shorewood's Saddlebrook Estates subdivision. After a resident scared him off, he stole a pickup truck from a nearby Troy Township farm.
Eberle drove that pickup down the Interstate 55 frontage road to Knauer Industries, a burial vault manufacturer. Once there, police said, he broke into the business' office and happened upon Shaughnessy, who was working alone.
Eberle allegedly beat Shaughnessy with a crowbar and fire extinguisher, then tangled with another employee who had just shown up to start his day.
Eberle fled but sheriff's deputies found him hiding in the weeds a short time later, police said. Shaughnessy died before an ambulance could make it to the scene.
During a court hearing in October, Ferreira, said Eberle has a "long history of substance abuse," including the "long and chronic use of bath salts." The drug abuse has left Eberle brain-damaged, Ferreira said.