Crime & Courts

As his health deteriorates, man who killed mother in 2010 should be released from IDHS care, attorney says

A  Crystal Lake man found not guilty by reason of insanity in his mother’s 2010 stabbing death is likely to remain bedridden, even if his attorney succeeds in her request to have him released from Illinois Department of Human Services custody.

James E. Trzcinski’s deteriorating condition has prevented him from receiving court-ordered mental health treatment, said his attorney, McHenry County Assistant Public Defender Kim Messer. Messer and the IDHS again are recommending Trzcinski’s full release and the closure of his case.

This would mean that the IDHS would not need to check on Trzcinski’s condition moving forward. Their role had already significantly lessened after a Februrary ruling by McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt.

Wilbrandt had granted Trzcinski’s “conditional release” from IDHS custody on the understanding that Trzcinski would remain at a Cook County hospital to receive medical treatment.

The judge’s decision was partially based on an uncertainty as to how Trzcinski, free from the department’s custody, would continue to receive the medical care he requires. The 60-year-old’s physical and mental condition have prevented him from participating in services that were ordered following the finding of not guilty by reason of insanity.

If Trzcinski’s current medical condition were to improve, he would be reinstated into mental health treatment, according to the February order. The judge’s ruling also meant that the Illinois Department of Human Services no longer was required to provide technicians to sit with Trzcinski at the hospital.

Over the past several months, however, Trzcinski’s condition has only worsened and family has worked with the man’s insurance to secure continued medical care should he be released, court records show.

“Defendant’s prognosis is poor, and it is expected he will continue to need this level of care for his life,” Messer wrote in a June 4, 2020, motion.

On Nov. 1, 2011, Trzcinski was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the stabbing death of his mother, Dorothy Trzcinski.

In turn, James Trzcinski was sent to the Illinois Department of Human Services, where he was later found to be in need of mental health treatment on an inpatient basis at a secure facility, according to the June motion.

James Trzcinski had been receiving treatment at the Chicago-Read Mental Health Center when he suffered a fall on March 26, 2019, court records show. He was diagnosed with a fractured hip bone and underwent surgery that led to further medical complications, his attorney wrote.

Doctors later diagnosed James Trzcinski with a “rare but serious condition” that caused a reaction to certain psychotropic medicines, which subsequently were removed as part of his treatment plan, court records show.

In the time since his fall, James Trzcinski ha suffered a heart attack, brain injury, hospital-acquired pneumonia, and underwent a tracheostomy, according to the June motion. He also was placed on a ventilator to breathe and required a feeding tube, court records show. He’s now receiving treatment at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

A hearing regarding Trzcinski’s potential release is scheduled for Sept. 16.

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