State Declares LeSure Fit to Stand Trial

Theddias LeSure of Montgomery, charged with 28 counts of murder, attempted murder and arson for allegedly setting a fire in 2009 that killed two of his relatives, was returned to the county jail Friday. State experts have declared him fit to stand trial.

In February, Theddias LeSure was for murder, and was sent to a state-run mental health facility. On Friday, he was returned to the Kendall County Jail, and the Illinois Department of Human Services declared him mentally capable of answering his charges.

Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis presented a state report in court Friday pronouncing LeSure, 24, of the 2400 block of Riva Ridge Road in Montgomery, fit to stand trial on 28 counts of murder, attempted murder and arson.

Gary Johnson, one of LeSure’s attorneys, said he has some problems with the report, however, and will have it examined by an expert. But LeSure’s legal team raised no objection to his return to the Kendall County Jail in Yorkville.

LeSure faces charges for allegedly setting the fire that killed his cousin Maurice Vaughn, 32, and his brother, Matthew LeSure, 26, in June 2009. Prosecutors said LeSure filled a bucket with gasoline and doused Vaughn, who was asleep on the floor of the home they shared. LeSure allegedly then lit a match, tossed it at Vaughn, then left the house and watched it burn.

Vaughn was killed in the blaze, and Matthew LeSure, who was asleep in an upstairs room, died of injuries sustained in the fire. Two other family members were injured as they attempted to escape the burning house.

In February, Weis presented three reports on LeSure's mental health from defense and prosecution psychiatrists. The reports were filed in June, July and September of last year, and all found LeSure mentally unfit to stand trial.

Fitness to stand trial is decided on two criteria: the defendant must understand what is happening in court, and be able to assist in his own defense. Fitness is a separate legal question from insanity; insanity addresses the defendant's mental state at the time of the incident.

Also on Friday, discussions began over who will represent LeSure moving forward, now that the death penalty has been abolished. Naperville attorney John Paul Carroll has been defending LeSure pro bono, but in January 2010, Kendall County Judge Tim McCann appointed Gary Johnson and Victoria Chuffo as co-counsels.

This was allowed because LeSure faced the death penalty. But in February, Gov. Pat Quinn abolished capital punishment in Illinois. So now it is up to the legal team and LeSure to decide whether Carroll or Johnson will remain.

“This matter needs to be addressed, but also thoughtfully addressed,” McCann said. “I will not make a quick ruling on this issue.”

McCann set a status update for Nov. 2 at 11 a.m.


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