Unfit To Stand Murder Trial

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (jGLi) – A 23-year-old Filipino American donut store employee Michael Marzo was ruled by Judge Richard C. Schoenstedt of the 12th Judicial Circuit Court of Will County in the suburb of Joliet, Illinois as not mentally fit to stand trial for a two-count first-degree murder of his mother, according to Chuck Pelkie, spokesman of Will County state’s attorney’s office.

Judge Schoenstedt based his ruling on an evaluation presented in court last March 6 status hearing by Randi Zoot, a psychologist.

Marzo is up for a status hearing on April 3 at 9:30 a.m., the first of a year-long status hearing evaluations that will be conducted by the state Department of Human Services, which will be assuming his custody. He is assisted by Public Defender Daniel Kennedy, a Joliet private attorney.

Marzo is being held on a $5-million bond that followed his arrest for killing his mother Shirley Marzo, 53, a registered nurse, in their home at the 500 Block of Nassau Avenue, Bolingbrook, Illinois last Dec. 2nd.

When he was arraigned last Dec. 27, Marzo pleaded not guilty.

He faces a maximum of 20 to 60 years in prison without parole if convicted.

His mother was founded dead “from an apparent stab wounds to her back” that arose from a domestic dispute.

Marzo’s sister, Sherlene, told this reporter over the phone that their mother had always wanted to help her brother with his “schizophrenia” but they almost always end up arguing.

She said when their mother and their father, Adriano, went to the Philippines last year, the siblings were taking care of Michael at home. But sometimes, Michael would threaten her and Stephanie and he would “apologize for everything.”

As a result of the threats, they moved out of the house to stay in a house of their friends.

But this was the first time that Michael became so violent as to kill their mother. “No body saw it coming that he would be that violent. Nobody observed that he could do what he did.”

Sherlene said a knife was used in the stabbing of her mother.

She said the family hopes that Michael would be confined in an “institution rather than in jail.”

Although Michael took some college courses, she said, Michael wanted to attend school and join the Army.

Michael worked for a long time in a donut store. He and his siblings visited the Philippines five times. They don’t speak Tagalog but they understand a little.

She said when Michael called home from his detention after the killing, his father asked Michael, “Why did you do this to us? You should have killed me because I was the one, who is sick, and not your Mom, who was healthy.” Michael apologized to his father, who has prostrate cancer.

Sherlene said she and her two siblings were all born in the United States.


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