Man found fit to stand trial in killing of Indian Head Park teen
John L. Wilson (left) has been charged with the murder of 14-year-old Kelli O'Laughlin of Indian Head Park
Updated: June 25, 2012 6:46PM
The South Side man accused of killing an Indian Head Park teenager in her home is fit to stand trial, a Cook County judge ruled Monday.
John L. Wilson Jr. may have acted confused at previous hearings, but Cook County Judge John Hynes found him fit after reviewing psychiatric reports from recent fitness evaluations.
The reports stopped just short of calling Wilson a faker when he claimed he heard voices. And the tests did not intend to determine whether Wilson was sane at the time he’s accused of stabbing 14-year-old old Kelli O’Laughlin.
Wilson, 38, also fired his attorneys Monday, telling the judge he wants to represent himself against charges that could land him in prison for life.
“These are very serious charges, and I strongly recommend that you continue with the service of Mr. Carroll or accept the public defender,” the judge told him, giving him until May 30 to decide.
Wilson’s defense attorney, John P. Carroll, is contesting possible disciplinary actions by the state board that licenses attorneys, but said Wilson has known about the recommended suspension for months.
Carroll said after the hearing at the county courthouse in Bridgeview he took the case for free and was surprised at Wilson’s decision.
“My opinion is he should have an attorney,” he said.
Prosecutors said he was on parole when he fatally stabbed O’Laughlin in her home on Oct. 27 after she apparently surprised Wilson when she returned home from Lyons Township High School.
Wilson was burglarizing the home, they said, and then stabbed the girl in her neck and chest.
He grabbed her phone on his way out and used it, prosecutors said, to send taunting messages to the O’Laughlin’s mother. Police caught him about a week later with the help of cell-phone tracking technology.
Wilson had spent 17 of the last 20 years in prison and was on parole at the time of his arrest. He is being held without bail in a state prison because of the parole violation.