A McHenry County judge Thursday granted up to $3,000 of county funds to pay for a second evaluation to determine the mental state of a woman accused of stabbing to death an elderly couple in their Algonquin home in 2020.
Arin Fox, 41, who is being held in the McHenry County jail on $5 million bond, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder, Class X felonies. If convicted, she could spend the rest of her life in prison.
Fox also is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, aggravated battery and domestic battery, according to McHenry County court records.
Fox has a long history of mental health illness, including schizoaffective disorder and bipolar depression, doctors and attorneys have said.
Earlier this month, her attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ryan Ahern, filed a motion requesting up to $7,500 to have Fox reevaluated.
Ahern has said Fox was not taking her medications, hearing voices and experiencing hallucinations at the time she allegedly stabbed Leonard J. Gilard, 73, six times and his wife, Noreen S. Gilard, 69, 16 times.
In his motion, Ahern wrote that Fox is “indigent and lacks the necessary funds to retain an expert’s assistance.”
Assistant State’s Attorney Ashley Romito objected, saying Fox already had been evaluated by doctors from the Mathers Clinic as to her fitness at the time of the offense, and that opinion has yet to be disclosed to the state.
To ask for county funds for a private doctor to evaluate Fox again is “inappropriate,” Romito said at the earlier hearing.
In his motion, Ahern identified three private forensic psychiatrists whose hourly rates are $340, $350 and $490 plus additional costs to provide expert testimony.
Fox has been deemed fit to stand trial, which is based on a different evaluation from what her mental state was at the time of the killings.
Since being in custody, Fox has been evaluated by mental health professionals and found mentally fit, unfit, then – after a couple of months at a mental health facility in Elgin – fit again to stand trial.
On June 9, McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt, who has since retired, agreed with the most recent evaluation by a doctor from the Mathers Clinic who said that although Fox suffers from mental illness, she is fit to stand trial and participate in her defense.
However, at this hearing, Fox and her attorney told the judge that she was not fit to stand trial. Fox told the judge herself that she was not taking one of her antipsychotic drugs.
Fox’s case now is being heard by Judge James Cowlin, who replaced Wilbrandt.
At the earlier hearing, at which Ahern first motioned for the $7,500, Cowlin said he agreed with the state that this second evaluation was not “crucial.” But, he said, he made observations of Fox’s behavior in court during that hearing and was leaning toward due process.
At that hearing, Fox was making outbursts and unsolicited statements.
Fox is due back in court Oct. 6.