IDHS says Meredosia teen fit to stand trial

By Benjamin Cox on April 3, 2019 at 5:30pm

The State Department of Human Services says the Meredosia teeager accused in the death last year of Rushville native Robert Utter is now fit to stand trial, but the teen’s defense counsel has requested an additional mental health analysis.

19 year old Dustin Finlaw appeared in Morgan County court yesterday in regards to a motion to determine mental fitness. Finlaw is facing first degree murder charges in the death of Rushville native Robert Utter, who was found deceased on the morning of May 24th in a car on Montgomery Street in Meredosia. Utter was found to have suffered multiple stab wounds.

Morgan County State’s Attorney Gray Noll describes the IDHS declaration and the public defender’s response.

“Back in October of 2018, the defendant was remanded to a Department of Human Services facility. While there, the defendant received some treatment, and in the opinion of the IDHS he was restored to fitness. Public Defender Tom Piper indicated to the court that he wanted, in essence, a second opinion. He wants the defendant to be analyzed by an independent psychiatrist to determine whether or not that psychiatrist concurs with the opinion of the IDHS that the defendant is fit to stand trial. That was an oral motion that Mr. Piper made. Judge Reif told Mr. Piper to reduce that motion to writing and have it filed by the defendant’s next court date, which is April 16th at 2:30.”

Finlaw has been housed at the Illinois Human Services’ Chester Mental Health Center since October of 2018.