Meredosia man accused of murder found mentally unfit to stand trial

By Gary Scott on October 23, 2018 at 12:06pm

Another Morgan County man accused of murder was found mentally unfit to stand trial at a court hearing today.

Eighteen-year old Dustin Finlaw, of Meredosia, is accused of first degree murder for the stabbing death of 43-year old Robert Utter, of Rushville, back in May. He appeared in Morgan County court this morning along with Defense Attorney Tom Piper for the latest on his mental fitness examination. At his previous court hearing, the court was still waiting on Finlaw’s report to be officially received in order to move forward. Today, Attorney Piper informed Judge Chris Reif that he had officially received the defendant’s mental fitness examination from Dr. Terry Killian of Springfield, which found Finlaw is mentally unfit to stand trial at this time.

Morgan County State’s Attorney Gray Noll explains what was stated in that report from Dr. Killian, and what occurred during today’s proceedings.

“Mr. Finlaw’s attorney Tom Piper presented the court, prior to today’s court hearing, an evaluation that was done by Dr. Killian, a psychiatrist, that indicated that the defendant was unfit to stand trial. The judge found that that report contained enough evidence to formally find the defendant unfit. The defendant then was ordered to be transported to the Department of Human Services,” says Noll.

Noll explains how Finlaw’s case will continue from this point forward in regards to his mental fitness.

“More than likely he will be transported down to the Chester, Illinois facility. At that facility, he will be evaluated. If the Department of Human Services concurs with the evaluation that the defendant is unfit, he will remain down there while he is receiving treatment for fitness. Should they not concur with the findings, then we will be transported back to Morgan County to have a formal hearing on the issue,” Noll explains.

Finlaw will be headed to the Illinois Department of Human Services’ facility in Chester, Illinois in hopes of obtaining fitness within the next year. Finlaw’s next court appearance, in which they will receive another update on his mental fitness, has been scheduled for December 18th at 2:30 p.m.