Finlaw, Van Avery both transferred to Chester Mental Health Facility

By Blake Schnitker on December 6 at 10:25am

Two area men on trial in two separate murder cases have officially been transferred to a mental health facility in southern Illinois.

Nearly two months after the court found both suspects mentally unfit to stand trial, 25-year old Glenn Van Avery, of the 13-hundred block of South Diamond, and 19-year old Dustin Finlaw, of the 400 block of Lake Road in Meredosia, were both transported from the Morgan County Jail to the Chester Mental Health Facility yesterday morning.

At their last court appearance several weeks ago, Defense Attorney Tom Piper indicated that Morgan County was still waiting for an opening to become available at the Chester Facility in order for the suspects to be transferred. Morgan County State’s Attorney Gray Noll says the process of transferring the defendants started in early October, but the actual transfer occurred yesterday.

Noll says that, when a defendant is found to be mentally unfit, they are typically transported to a mental health facility rather quickly.

Noll says that both Finlaw and Van Avery are due for status updates in regards to their mental fitness on Tuesday, December 18th. However, Noll says it is unlikely that either suspect has gained mental fitness at that time, and it is likely that the court will set a future date for another status hearing.

Finlaw faces three counts of alleged first degree murder in connection to the death of 42-year old Robert Utter, of Rushville, who was found stabbed to death in an SUV on Montgomery Street in Meredosia back in May. Van Avery is accused of three counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder in connection to the death of his mother, Ruth Van Avery, as well as an attack on his brother Garrick on June 13th.