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Journal Star (Peoria, IL)

December 15, 1998


LACON — A judge ordered a mental fitness exam Monday for a 25-year-old rural Lacon man facing multiple charges stemming from an alleged home invasion and shooting spree.

Robert Hofer Jr. will be examined by Bloomington psychiatrist Robert Chapman to determine his fitness for standing trial on charges including home invasion, criminal damage to property, fleeing and eluding police and driving under the influence, Circuit Judge Scott Shore ordered in Marshall County Circuit Court.

The charges stem from an early morning Nov. 27 episode in which Hofer allegedly entered a Henry home in search of a former girlfriend, struggled with her mother and then shot a TV set with a 12-gauge shotgun before leaving.

Hofer then went to the rural Putnam residence of a male friend of the woman, where he shot out the windows of the man’s vehicle and then led police on a lengthy, high-speed chase before being apprehended, authorities said.

Hofer has a history of depression. He had been taking the antidepressant drug Prozac for about a year but stopped shortly before that episode, he told Shore during an earlier court appearance.

“It’s supposed to keep me from getting depressed,” Hofer said.

Hofer has resumed taking Prozac since his arrest, along with another “nerve medication” prescribed by a Henry physician, said chief sheriff’s deputy Rob Russell.  Hofer has been held in lieu of $250,000 bond since his arrest.

The fitness exam will be done at public expense, as agreed by the Marshall County State’s Attorney and assistant public defender Patrick Murphy, Shore said. The judge scheduled a Feb. 1 review of the case.