Mt. Vernon Register-News

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April 3, 2014

Newellfit for trial

MT. VERNON — A psychiatric examination of a Bonnie man accused of murder has revealed he is fit to stand trial.

During a court hearing on Wednesday, the fitness question for Timothy Newell, 43, was raised.

Newell’s attorney, Public Defender Sean Featherstun, had requested the examination of his client to the court last October.

Dr. Angeline Stanislaus conducted the examination, and while the contents of the examination were sealed by Judge Eric Dirnbeck, both Featherstun and State’s Attorney Doug Hoffman agreed by stipulation that Newell is fit to stand trial.

A pre-trial conference is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday to “talk about scheduling issues,” according to Featherstun.

Dirnbeck also announced the clock has restarted — a second time — for Newell’s rights of a speedy trial, despite the fact Newell has been incarcerated since his arrest. He is being held under $5 million bond.

Newell is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the beating and stabbing death of 84-year-old Rita “Betty” Newell of Bonnie. The younger Newell reportedly is the adopted grandson of the victim.

According to court documents, the victim was stabbed in the neck with a knife and “struck about her person, thereby causing the death of Rita Newell, a person 60 years of age or older and her death resulted from exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty.”

Newell is also charged with stealing the woman’s station wagon which he used to flee from the victim’s home on Oct. 3, 2013.

Newell was arrested in Missouri hours after the fatal stabbing and extradited to Jefferson County.

Online court records reveal Newell has an extensive criminal record in Kane County. Newell is originally from the Aurora area but was living with the victim at the time of the homicide.

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