Woman ruled insane in daughter's slaying faces lengthy confinement

Special to the Tribune

A DuPage County judge today set a maximum 100-year term of involuntary commitment in a mental health facility for a former Illinois woman who killed her young daughter in Bloomingdale in 2010.

Judge George Bakalis issued the order in a brief hearing for Marci Webber, 45, of East Nassau, N.Y. and formerly of northwest suburban Woodstock.

Last month, the judge found Webber not guilty by reason of insanity of the murder of her 4-year-old daughter, Maggie.

Another court hearing will be held Aug. 17, by which time the Illinois Department of Human Services is expected to generate a treatment plan for Webber, who has been confined at the Elgin Mental Health Center, her attorney, Assistant Public Defender Jill Eckhaus, said.

The 100-year term was expected by Webber’s attorneys. The length of an involuntary commitment in an insanity case is usually the same as the maximum prison sentence that could have been imposed in the event of a conviction.

Webber, who appeared in court Friday in a grey sweatshirt and jeans, likely faces a lengthy stay at a mental institution, Eckhaus said.

Webber could be freed if her doctors determine she is mentally fit, and if the judge rules in her favor at the conclusion of a subsequent court hearing. By law, the court will receive updates on her condition every 60 days.

DuPage prosecutors had sought a conviction for first-degree murder, but Bakalis had ruled that Webber’s mental health issues had mitigated her actions.

At Webber’s trial in June, her teenage daughter described finding her mother and the body of her little sister in the blood-smeared bathroom of Webber’s mother's townhouse on Nov. 3, 2010.

A psychologist testified that Webber, who had a history of mental illness, had suffered a break with reality, and had slit her daughter’s throat because she believed the child would fall prey to sex traffickers.

Webber and Maggie had travelled from New York to Illinois several weeks before the killing, as Webber had devolved into a paranoid state, her attorneys said at trial.

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