June 07, 2001

The Firm obtained a finding of not guilty by reason of insanity for our pro bono client, Pearline Jones, after a three-day bench trial. Ms. Jones was charged with attempted murder, two counts of aggravated battery, armed violence, aggravated unlawful restraint, and five firearm possession offenses. 

In early 1998 our client, a 50-year-old Chicago native, began experiencing auditory hallucinations, hearing the voices of her husband and others constantly criticizing her and arguing with her.  Ms. Jones believed her husband was responsible for planting the voices inside her head.  In March 1999, she bound his hands and feet and shot him twice while trying to force a confession from him, demanding that he explain how he was able to track her every move and plant voices inside her head. 

The State argued that Ms. Jones should be found guilty but mentally ill.  Associates Sarah Koleno and Seth Travis, supervised by Partner Dean Panos, represented the defendant and argued that Ms. Jones should be found not guilty by reason of insanity on all charges.

The Court accepted our argument and found our client not guilty by reason of insanity.  This finding has enabled Ms. Jones to receive treatment for her illness in a mental health facility instead of a prison, and will allow her to return home if and when she regains her mental health.