DECATUR — A judge wants more time, and more information, before deciding whether taxpayers will pick up the $2,800 tab for an expert to evaluate the mental health of a Decatur inmate accused of violence.

Jarius T. Fuller, 33, is being held in the Macon County Jail, in lieu of posting $15,000 bail, on two charges of aggravated battery to a peace officer and another two charges of aggravated battery.

Fuller has previously pleaded not guilty to all counts, which date back to October of 2018 when he was charged with punching and attacking two jail correctional officers and two fellow inmates.

Discussing his case at a Macon County Courthouse hearing Monday, Public Defender Scott Rueter told Judge Jeffrey Geisler that he wanted to hire a medical expert to examine Fuller in support of an insanity defense. Rueter told the judge that $2,800 was a pretty good estimate of the cost for an examination by a doctor, but that fee would not cover having the medical expert testify in court.

Geisler, noting that “everybody is entitled to a defense,” appeared concerned by the cost to taxpayers and wants to hear an opinion from the prosecutor in the case, Assistant State’s Attorney Regan Radtke. Geisler said he was taking Rueter’s request “under advisement” and scheduled a new hearing, where he said he wanted Radtke to be present, for June 24.

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Court records show in June 2009, with Rueter defending, Fuller was found not guilty by reason of insanity on eight charges that included armed robbery, home invasion and aggravated battery to a pregnant victim.

The court ruling at the time said: “...There exists clear and convincing evidence that the defendant lacked the substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of his conduct.”

Court records show Fuller has been in and out of inpatient mental health treatment several times over the last 10 years. His progress, monitored by the court system, shows him repeatedly judged well enough to return to society but then relapsing and needing more care.

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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