Man accused in mother's death unfit for trial

Man accused in mother's death unfit for trial

URBANA — A Champaign man accused of fatally stabbing his mother then setting a fire to cover her death is due back in court in a month.

Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd earlier this month found that Terry J. Brownlee, 31, remains unfit to enter a plea or stand trial for the first-degree murder of Sharon S. Brownlee, 61, of Urbana.

Brownlee has been in custody since April 12, the day his mother's body was found inside the burned-out efficiency at 407 S. State St., C, where Brownlee was living.

He is also charged with aggravated arson, residential arson and concealment of a homicidal death.

He admitted to police that he stabbed his mother hours earlier after an argument with her at his home, then set the fire, which was reported about 6:10 a.m. that Friday.

Assistant Public Defender Janie Miller-Jones sought a psychiatric examination for Brownlee on May 7.

After receiving Champaign psychiatrist Dr. Larry Jeckel's evaluation, Ladd agreed that Brownlee was unfit for trial, meaning that he cannot understand the proceedings against him or cooperate in his defense.

He remains in the Champaign County jail until representatives of the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities can do their evaluation of him.

Ladd set another hearing for July 31.

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