Jurors to decide if Moore is fit to stand trial
By Erika Wurst firstname.lastname@example.org October 28, 2013 5:26PM
Updated: December 1, 2013 7:42AM
Testimony began Monday in the hearing to determine whether or not Quentin Moore is capable of standing trial for an Aurora double murder.
Moore, 32, who is already serving a 23-year-prison sentence for attempted murder, is accused of the 2001 murders of Larry Postelwaite and Sharon Paulette, as well as playing a part in the 2005 beating of another man.
He was arrested in 2008 during Operation First Degree Burn, a sweep which ended in charges against dozens of men in Aurora cold case murders.
After his 2008 arrest, an evaluation into Moore’s fitness to stand trial was ordered by a judge after Moore spoke of being brainwashed. Through an evaluation performed by Dr. Timothy Brown, clinical director of the Kane County Diagnostic Center, Moore was deemed fit to stand trial on the new charges.
But, that decision was short lived. In 2010, as jury selection was about to begin in Moore’s trial for the beating death of Jorge Caro, Moore attacked his former attorney. His new attorney, Herbert Hill, sought a new evaluation of his client’s fitness.
Hill said that doctors hired on behalf of his client have found the opposite of Brown’s determination. Hill said his client is not capable of standing trial, and that testimony given by his experts will prove that fact.
Hill believes doctors will testify that Moore suffers from delusions, and voices in his head, and is not capable of assisting in his own defense.
“The defendant believes the FBI is watching him in his mind. That they are examining his thought process,” Hill said. These voices are even compelling him to plead guilty. “If he is paranoid, and suffers from these delusional concepts, his thinking is affected to a great extent ... his actions are based on speculation, fantasies, things he has perceived, not things that are true.”
Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon told jurors he hopes they will see past Hill’s arguments, and focus on the facts, including a recent evaluation of Moore, which also deemed him fit.
“Mr. Moore does have the capability (to understand court proceedings), but maybe not the desire,” McMahon told the panel of 12 jurors chosen Monday morning.
He may have delusions that he is being watched, simply because he is being watched, McMahon said.
“He thinks that everything he says and does, every communication sent to him, or by him, is being monitored,” McMahon said. “The reality is, a lot of these things are in fact true ... that’s not delusional. That’s not paranoia. That’s a fact.”
McMahon said that doctors hired on behalf of the defense had very limited time with the defendant, and that their determinations could not possibly be conclusive.
“They didn’t perform any psychological or psychiatric testing,” he said. “The total contact with Moore was 20 minutes. Five minutes involved Moore silently pacing back and forth.”
Prosecutors have pointed to expert opinion that Moore may be “malingering” or faking symptoms to avoid standing immediate trial for his crimes.
When he took the stand as the state’s first witness on Monday afternoon, Brown testified to meeting with Moore on four occasions in 2008. He spent nearly three hours performing tests and interviewing Moore as a means to determine his fitness to stand trial.
Though Moore refused to finish both cognitive and behavioral tests administered by Brown, the doctor used the results he did receive, as well as the behavior of Moore during testing, jail reports and police records to make his determination as to Moore’s fitness.
He diagnosed Moore with anti-social personality disorder, but noted that it would not impact his ability to understand court proceedings, and assist his lawyer in his own defense.
Brown said that during his time with Moore, Moore followed his lawyers advice and refused to talk about his charges, proof that he was making legal decisions, and acting out of self protection.
The possibility that Moore could be faking his symptoms, or malingering, was also a reality, Brown told jurors.
Motives behind this action could be to have his trial postponed, to be found not guilty by reason of insanity, or to be sentenced to a treatment center or hospital, instead of a prison setting.
Moore’s non-cooperation, his abrupt termination of his interview and his personal caution regarding his charges could all be seen as signs of malingering, Brown told jurors.
Hill is expected to call his doctors to the stand on Tuesday, before jurors head to deliberate.
“He is not fit to stand trial, and is in need of treatment,” Hill said, citing several instances of delusion shown by his client. Moore was well behaved during Monday’s proceedings. He was cautioned by Judge Susan Boyles before jury selection that talking out of turn would not be tolerated.
“There are not going to be periods throughout this trial where you talk whenever you want,” she told Moore, following several instances of him speaking out of turn. “If you do not follow the rules of this court behavior-wise or respect-wise, you will be removed from these proceedings. Everyone else would be held to the same standard.”
Testimony continues Tuesday, and is expected to wrap up in the afternoon, prosecutors said.