Paragraph eleven reads: "Pastorello, who held a part-time job at The Baby's Room warehouse in Elmhurst before his arrest, has been taking medication for depression since 1998, according to his wife, Susan Pastorello".
orthlake man accused of killing mom found fit for trial
By Maria Kantzavelos
Special to the Tribune
Published January 16, 2004
A Northlake man charged with bludgeoning his mother to death in her Franklin Park home has been found mentally fit for trial.
But attorneys are awaiting other psychiatric tests to be administered to James Pastorello before proceeding with his murder case in the Maywood branch of Cook County Circuit Court.
Pastorello, 47, is facing three counts of first-degree murder for allegedly beating his mother, Henrietta Pastorello, in the head with a hammer Aug. 20.
The results of a behavioral clinical examination to determine Pastorello's fitness for trial were presented in court Thursday before Judge Lawrence Terrell.
The findings by a psychiatrist who heads the forensic clinical services division of the Cook County Circuit Court were that Pastorello--with medication--is fit for trial, meaning he has the ability to understand the criminal proceeding and to assist in his defense.
A finding of fitness, however, has no bearing on questions about a person's mental state at the time the crime was committed.
The judge Thursday ordered a psychiatrist who was treating Pastorello before his August arrest to release his medical records so that those tests, as well as tests of his ability to understand his Miranda rights at the time of arrest, could be conducted. Pastorello's attorney, Thomas Glasgow, said the psychiatrist had not responded to requests for medical records.
Glasgow said the findings of those tests could be key to his case, especially in light of a statement Pastorello allegedly made while he was in police custody. Glasgow said medicinal problems or mental deficiencies could lend themselves to a question of whether the statement was made voluntarily.
"It is incumbent upon the person giving the Miranda warning to ensure that the person receiving them understands the Miranda warnings as they're given," Glasgow said in an interview after Pastorello's appearance in court.
To assess a defendant's sanity, the exam aims to determine whether a defendant was suffering from a serious underlying mental illness at the time of the offense and could not appreciate the criminality of his actions, Glasgow said.
Pastorello, who held a part-time job at The Baby's Room warehouse in Elmhurst before his arrest, has been taking medication for depression since 1998, according to his wife, Susan Pastorello. But neither she nor Glasgow could say what type of medication he is taking.
Assistant State's Atty. Maureen O'Brien said Pastorello's statement made while in police custody has not been disclosed. She said prosecutors are also awaiting the report of an autopsy by the Cook County medical examiner.
Pastorello reported finding his mother's body in her home in the 2700 block of Hawthorne Street, authorities have said. The Cook County medical examiner listed the cause of death as multiple blunt force injuries.