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Illinois man who was found guilty but mentally ill in murder of roommate gets 28 years in prison

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Branden M. Napolitan has been charged with first-degree murder.
© Dane County Sheriff's Office
By Amanda Marrazzo, Chicago Tribune

A Woodstock, Ill. man with a long history of mental illness who said he was hearing threatening voices in his head when he killed his roommate has been sentenced to 28 years in prison.

McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather ruled in March that Branden Napolitan was guilty but mentally ill in the 2015 murder of Daryl Fox, rejecting the defense’s argument that Napolitan should be found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Napolitan, 29, was also convicted of possessing a stolen vehicle, having fled in Fox’s car after strangling and stabbing him.

Napolitan is required to serve 100 percent of his sentence, but prosecutors said he will receive mental health services while in prison.

His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Angelo Mourelatos, said he has filed a notice of appeal regarding his client’s mental state at the time of the offense.

Napolitan is “remorseful. However, we still maintain that he was insane at the time of the offense,” Mourelatos said.

During Friday’s sentencing hearing, Napolitan apologized to Fox’s family and said he never intended for any of this to happen, Mourelatos said.

At Napolitan’s trial, an expert for the defense testified that Napolitan was hearing voices, was scared and delusional and had sought help at a local hospital earlier on the day that Fox, 53, was killed.

Napolitan was evaluated but released from the hospital. He then walked back to the apartment he shared with Fox and killed him, prosecutors said. The defense expert said Napolitan, because of his mental illness, feared for his life and believed Fox was going to harm or kill him.

An expert for the prosecution said Napolitan may have had those thoughts but maintained that Napolitan was not insane and knew that what he did was wrong, pointing to the fact that he fled the scene and then lied about Fox’s well-being later when he answered Fox’s phone, which Napolitan had taken with him. Napolitan was arrested in Madison, Wis.

He faced a sentence of 23 to 67 years in prison.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Illinois man who was found guilty but mentally ill in murder of roommate gets 28 years in prison
Illinois man who was found guilty but mentally ill in murder of roommate gets 28 years in prison
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