A suburban Chicago college student claims he beat his mother to death with a baseball bat after he mistook her for an intruder after returning home from a spring break trip to Europe.
Thomas J. Summerwill, 21, of Campton Hills, Illinois has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder for the March 24 killing of his mom, 53-year-old Mary Summerwill, the Associated Press reports.
Sumerwill’s attorney’s Liam Dixon said that his client thought his mom was an intruder when he grabbed a signed sport memorabilia baseball bat that had been hanging on his wall and fatally attacked her.
He also said that Summerwill possibly had jet lag after a spring break trip to Europe at the time of the attack. Dixon said Summerwill’s family is disappointed with the murder charge.
“Whatever the state does to him will pale in comparison to what’s already happened,” Dixon told the the Daily Herald in Chicago.
He described the killing of his client’s mom, who died of cranial injuries, as a “horrible accident.”
Prosecutors, however, don’t believe that. They think it was intentional.
“Prosecutors allege that Thomas Summerwill’s belief was not reasonable because of his alcohol impairment,” according to Kane County state’s attorney’s officials.
Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said in court on Tuesday, "The facts of the case will come out in court. We believe that the appropriate charge was second-degree murder. That's what the evidence supports,” the Daily Herald reports. He declined to go into the specifics of the alleged evidence.
Bond has been set at $300,000.
Summerwill just finished his junior year at University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He will be in court again on May 23.