Judge: Westmont man legally insane in fatal attack on dad — (The Daily Herald)

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The Daily Herald

By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff

Published: 6/2/2010 11:11 AM | Updated: 6/2/2010 11:55 AM

A Westmont man with a history of mental illness was legally insane when he fatally stabbed his father, a DuPage County judge ruled today.

The ruling means 30-year-old Rostyslav Demtsyo will be treated in a high-security state mental hospital rather than be sent to prison.

Circuit Judge Kathryn Creswell found Demtsyo not guilty by reason of insanity of first-degree murder. State officials are expected in the next 30 days to draft a treatment plan, which will include the location of Demtsyo’s placement.

Demtsyo will have to get a judge’s approval before being released into society again, but his attorneys Michael Mara and Tony Coco said they believe with treatment he could be released someday.

“He’s fully aware that he caused his father’s death,” Mara said, “and even though he didn’t have any intent and there’s nothing he could do about it, he’s very remorseful. It’s sad, but this was the best result for him.”

Both Dr. Syed Ali, clinical director of DuPage Mental Health Services, and John Murray, clinical/forensic psychologist, agreed Demtsyo could not appreciate the criminality of his conduct because of his mental disease. Demtsyo suffers from a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. He was being treated for major depression, but was not taking any antipsychotic medication to control his increasingly paranoid delusional thoughts.

At 9:15 p.m. Nov. 19, 2008, police rushed to an altercation between Demtsyo and his 53-year-old father, Oleg, outside their home on the 200 block of North Wilmette Avenue in Westmont.

The first police officer arrived within minutes, but authorities said the son had fled. The elder Demtsyo suffered more than 30 stab wounds. He was pronounced dead at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove.

Police caught up with the younger Demtsyo’s Dodge Stratus after spotting him traveling south near Cass Avenue and 55th Street. Shortly thereafter, Demtsyo struck a southbound SUV on Cass Avenue at 73rd Street. The SUV hit a northbound motorist. The Stratus then crashed into a tree.

Rescuers rushed five people from the three cars, including Demtsyo, to area hospitals. Initially, Demtsyo’s injuries were considered severe. He was put into a drug-induced coma to stabilize him. An arrest warrant was issued Jan. 13, 2009, and he was released from the hospital into police custody one day later.

It was his mother, Irina, who called 911 Nov. 19, 2008, after witnessing the violent dispute between her son and husband in the family driveway, Prosecutor Mary Cronin said. Cronin said the defendant’s mother told police her son attacked her husband after growing increasingly paranoid and delusional that Oleg had “set him up,”

After the slaying, the son demanded his mother give him his car keys. Prosecutors alleged he threatened his mother with the knife, but fled without harming her.

Irina Demtsyo has attended most of her son’s court hearings and supports getting her son treatment rather than sending him to prison. She buried her face in her hands today as Creswell ruled on Demtsyo’s fate.

Demtsyo, who worked as an ATM repair man, did not have a prior violent criminal history.

He showed no outward emotion during the brief hearing before being led back to his cell.

State law requires his period of detainment in the institution to be based on prison sentencing guidelines for the crime.