- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 1, 2015

PEKIN, Ill. (AP) - A mental fitness exam will be done on a 19-year-old central Illinois man accused of trying to kill a 75-year-old man and attack children at the Morton Public Library.

Dustin Brown of Morton pleaded not guilty to charges last month including attempted murder. A prosecutor didn’t object Monday when Brown’s attorney discussed potential plans to have Brown’s mental health raised as a defense.

Defense attorney James LeFante said Brown will be visited by a psychiatrist in jail before his next court appearance Dec. 14, the Pekin Daily Times (https://bit.ly/1XvLro4 ) reports.

Army veteran James Vernon was instructing 16 children in chess Oct. 13 when authorities say Brown entered the room with two knives and shouted his intention to kill them. Authorities say the children fled the room and Vernon subdued Brown, though Vernon was cut deeply on his hand.

Gov. Bruce Rauner honored Vernon in October, saying that he’s “a true American hero.”

Brown had been awaiting trial on charges of possessing child pornography. Prosecutors will tell a Tazewell County judge in two weeks whether Brown should be tried first for child pornography or attempted murder.

According to an affidavit, Brown later said he targeted the children in the room at the library in anger over the child pornography charges.

Brown remains in custody on $800,000 bond in the attempted murder case.


Information from: Pekin Daily Times, https://www.pekintimes.com

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