An elderly man has been declared mentally unfit for trial on charges that he shot his Antioch area neighbor in April, allegedly in a dispute over a leaf blower.
Lake County Judge Paul Novak ordered Ettore Lacchei, 80, remanded to the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services during a hearing Tuesday.
A psychologist who examined Lacchei said in a report that Lacchei exhibited “major impairment of neuro-cognitive functioning” and was suffering from “paranoid and delusional” thought processes, the judge said.
Lacchei is prone to unreasonable beliefs and believes he is being poisoned in the Lake County Jail, where he is being held in the medical wing, the psychologist said in the report.
Novak ordered that Lacchei be remanded to a secure facility of the IDHS for treatment. The judge said there was a “guarded probability” Lacchei could regain mental fitness within a year.
He had been in custody since the April 12 shooting of his neighbor, William Martys, at Martys’ home in the 40700 block of North Black Oak Avenue.
Police who responded to the residence found Martys, 59, in the driveway with a gunshot wound to the head.
Witnesses told police that they had seen Lacchei and Martys apparently arguing in the driveway while Martys was holding his leaf blower. At the time of the arrest, police said Lacchei had “various perceived grievances” with Martys.
Lacchei, who is a native of Italy, allegedly told authorities that he was planned to imminently leave the U.S. and move back to Italy. A judge deemed him a flight risk, and ordered him held in lieu of bond.