A Will County judge said Friday he will review court transcripts and case law before deciding whether to allow a psychiatric evaluation to be used as evidence in the case of a homeless man charged with murder.
Michael Eberle, 43, allegedly broke into a Troy Township business and beat a worker to death in March 2012.
The murder of 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, Eberle's attorney, Stewart Ferreira, said the alleged killer has a "long history of substance abuse," including the "long and chronic use of bath salts." The chronic drug abuse has left Eberle brain-damaged, Ferreira said, and possibly unfit to stand trial.
But Ferreira wants to keep a fitness evaluation from being used in the case against Eberle. During Friday's hearing, Judge Robert Livas said the matter has become "so convoluted" that he would only make his decision after reviewing such material as court transcripts and case law.
"I'm going to readdress the whole thing" Monday, Livas said.