By Clifford Ward
Special to the Tribune
9:00 PM EST, November 13, 2012
A judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation Tuesday of the Naperville woman accused of murdering her young son and the little girl she was baby sitting.
DuPage County prosecutors, anticipating a possible insanity defense, want to have a mental health expert interview Elzbieta Plackowska, who is charged with the murders of her son Justin, 7, and Olivia Dworakowski, 5.
DuPage County Judge Robert Kleeman approved a prosecution request for the exam, which State's Atty. Robert Berlin said would probably take place within the next two to three days.
Plackowska attorney Mike Mara, a senior assistant public defender, asked for a delay, telling the judge he had not yet received any police reports of the deaths of the children. The slayings occurred Oct. 30 in the Dworakowski residence in Naperville.
Mara has not said whether Plackowska, 40, may seek an insanity defense.
Berlin did not want to delay the evaluation, saying it would produce a clearer image of Plackowska's mental state at the time she allegedly murdered the children.
Berlin said the prosecution request was based on statements Plackowska allegedly made to police. She reportedly told them that the children had the devil inside and that she was trying to drive it out when she stabbed each child dozens of times with a kitchen knife.
Later, she admitted that she stabbed her son to death because she was unhappy in her relationship with her husband and that Olivia was killed because she was a witness, authorities said.
The hearing Tuesday was the first time an interpreter was present to translate the proceedings into Plackowska's native Polish.
Authorities have said she came to the U.S. about 12 years ago to vacation and remained after the expiration of her visa.
Her arraignment later this month will mark the first time that a Chicago area courtroom proceeding will be televised. The formal reading of the charges will take place in the largest courtroom in the criminal courts floor in order to accommodate TV and photographers.
Earlier this year, the state Supreme Court authorized a pilot program to place cameras in Illinois courts. DuPage is the only metropolitan area jurisdiction to join the program.
Copyright © 2015 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC