Judge Orders Mental Fitness Evaluation

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Byline: Christy Gutowski Legal Affairs Writer cgutowski@dailyherald.com

A DuPage County judge ordered a complete mental health evaluation Thursday for a suspect in last month's triple Darien slaying.

Circuit Judge John Kinsella is allowing clinical and forensic psychologist John Murray to interview Jacob Nodarse for a fitness and sanity evaluation, which prosecutors and the defense attorney agreed is needed.

"We have an issue with fitness," Prosecutor Joseph Ruggiero said. "We believe there's a bona fide doubt."

Nodarse, the man suspected of pulling the trigger, is facing a 22-count felony indictment alleging first-degree murder, conspiracy and home invasion.

The 24-year-old Countryside man also is charged with obstructing justice for fleeing to Florida to avoid arrest. Nodarse has some history of mental instability, including a prior suicide attempt and hospitalization, but attorneys declined to elaborate.

"At his initial bond hearing, I stated I just have to shake my head at all of this and it's the same today," defense attorney Steven "Randy" Rueckert said. …