URBANA — An Urbana man acquitted by reason of insanity of breaking into one neighbor's home and trying to set fire to another will be held in a secure mental facility for the next several years.
Based on mental evaluations by professionals at the Department of Human Services, Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd ordered Wednesday that William Clark, 51, who last lived in the 2000 block of Zuppke Circle, U, should receive treatment in a locked setting until April 2019.
That represents the maximum time he could have been held had he been convicted of the most serious of the crimes he was charged with: residential burglary. He was also acquitted of attempted residential arson and criminal damage to property.
In March, Ladd acquitted Clark by reason of insanity of a break-in in the 500 block of Mumford Drive, that happened Oct. 17, in which he forcibly entered a neighbor's house, doing considerable damage inside.
He then went to another neighbor's house in that same block and tried to set a fire.
When police arrived they found Clark in a yard acting irrationally. Champaign psychiatrist Lawrence Jeckel opined that Clark was insane at the time — that is, was unable to realize the criminality of what he was doing.
Anthony Mancuso told the judge that Clark did about $20,000 worth of damage to his home but more importantly, caused his family to lose the sense of peace they previously enjoyed in their own home. Mancuso said even before the break-in, Clark demonstrated an "obsession" with his family that had no basis in reality.
Mancuso also noted that their home is about a block from Yankee Ridge Elementary School and that children could have been in jeopardy from Clark's tirade.
He urged the judge to see that Clark is legally supervised for a long time.