Summary:

Paragraph 3 reads:  "The father and son never got together before Robert Sylvester was killed Jan. 5 as police pursued him as a suspect in an armed robbery."

Paragraph 7 reads:  "Sylvester acknowledged struggles he may have had with mental health issues. Toxicology results indicated he was taking antidepressants, according to McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling."


http://www.pantagraph.com/articles/2009/06/11/news/doc4a3193df6b936658689088.txt

Sylvester's son received card at hospital
By Edith Brady-Lunny
eblunny@pantagraph.com
Advertisement

BLOOMINGTON -- Robert Sylvester’s plans during the last few days of his life included the personal delivery of a birthday card to his son, Rob Sylvester Jr.

The contents of the card and its final regrets and wishes were read Thursday during an inquest into Sylvester’s death. A McLean County coroner’s jury deliberated for two hours before ruling his death was a justifiable homicide.

The father and son never got together before Robert Sylvester was killed Jan. 5 as police pursued him as a suspect in an armed robbery.

Rob Sylvester was given the card at the hospital by a relative when family gathered after his father was shot. “I’m so proud of you and love hearing everyone talking about how nice you are, how good you are because you are a hard worker,” Sylvester wrote to his son.

Robert Sylvester expressed regrets that he was not a better father to his daughter, Mindy.

“I’ll die hating myself for that. I still don’t feel that I deserve to be around you or Mindy but please always remember I do and always have loved you kids more than life,” wrote Sylvester.

Sylvester acknowledged struggles he may have had with mental health issues. Toxicology results indicated he was taking antidepressants, according to McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling.

“Please never weep over me for anything. Just think this: I’ll be at rest. This 10,000-mile mph mind will finally be at rest. Maybe I’ll have peace of mind for the first time in my life. I’m fine,” the card read.

Illinois State Police Special Agent Scott Watkins told the inquest panel that members of Sylvester’s family told investigators they did not believe Sylvester was suicidal or intended to die during the police chase. The family believed Sylvester had plans to travel to Indiana for a job as an ironworker.