DECATUR — The Decatur man accused of climbing into a man's car while parked downtown and then punching the driver in the head is not fit to stand trial, a judge said.
Judge Phoebe Bowers ruled that Tyler J. Kirkwood, 32, will be held by the Macon County Jail until a bed becomes available and then he will be placed in the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services “until fitness is restored.”
Bowers made the ruling in Macon County Circuit Court on Feb. 28 after reviewing Kirkwood's mental health report. The court will review Kirkwood’s progress at a status hearing set for May 2.
Kirkwood was charged with aggravated battery following the incident with the driver on the night of Dec. 20. In a sworn police affidavit, Kirkwood was described as wearing a Chicago Cubs hat and a surgical mask when he accosted the 58-year-old driver in a parking lot, punching him and leaving him with bleeding wounds.
Police arrested Kirkwood a short time later, and patrol officers had described him as talking incoherently while claiming to be suffering from “caffeine-itus,” the affidavit said.
Kirkwood’s defense attorney, David Ellison, made a motion asking for a mental health examination at an earlier court hearing.
Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott said Monday the case can’t proceed if Kirkwood doesn’t understand what is happening.
“Basically, he has to know what is going on, and he has to be able to assist his attorney,” said Scott. “You’ve got to be able to show that.”