A new judge will hear the case of Thomas Summerwill, who is charged with beating his mother to death with a baseball bat.
Summerwill's attorney, Liam Dixon, had objected to Circuit Court Judge Kathryn Karayannis hearing the case and filed a motion for substitution of a judge. Circuit Court Judge John Barsanti, who presides over the felony division, reassigned the case to Circuit Court Judge Clint Hull during a status hearing on Thursday.
Summerwill also was given permission to travel with his family on Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the Memorial Day weekend. He will be back in the area on Monday.
A pre-trial conference is set for June 13. Prosecutors allege that Thomas Summerwill, 21, was drunk when he beat his mother, Mary Bridget Summerwill, 53, to death with a baseball bat on March 24, believing she was an intruder in their Campton Hills family home on the 40W600 block of Willowbrook Drive.
According to police, both local and sheriff’s police officers responded to a 911 call at Summerwill’s home March 24 and found Mary Bridget Summerwill, who was subsequently transported to Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva, where she later died of cranial injuries.
“Acting in what he believed was the defense of himself or his property, Summerwill grabbed a baseball bat and struck the person multiple times in the head with it, not realizing the person was his mother, Mary Summerwill, who died as a result of the blunt force trauma,” stated a news release from the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Summerwill has been charged with two counts of second degree murder. He was released from Kane County Jail on May 14 after posting 10 percent of his $300,000 bond, or $30,000.
According to Dixon, Summerwill had just returned from a trip to Europe in the hours prior to the attack. Prosecutors had asserted that Thomas Summerwill’s belief that his mother was an intruder was not reasonable, because he was drunk. Prosecutors would not say what his blood alcohol content was, other than it is specific evidence that will come out as the court case proceeds.
Thomas Summerwill is a 2016 St. Charles North High School graduate. While attending the school, he juggled academics with sports, including being a member of the St. Charles North football team. He has been a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison since 2016 and has been involved with a number of activities there, including being the Chief Justice of the Student Judiciary, according to his LinkedIn page.
He worked as an intern for four months in 2018 in the office of Wisconsin State Sen. Lena Taylor, according to his LinkedIn page, with his work being focused within the Department of Corrections and towards prison and judicial reform in the state of Wisconsin.
"The experience allowed me to continue to develop my passion for law and public service, and expand my previous knowledge of criminal justice and law," he states on the page. "Equally, the opportunity allowed me to work and excel in a legislative office and enabled me to further engage with the larger issues that exist in communities across America."
Thomas Summerwill also worked as a summer law clerk in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office in 2017, according to his LinkedIn page.