BLOOMINGTON — After more than three decades, a man remains mentally unfit to stand trial in the death of his wife, who was found beaten and suffocated in a Bloomington motel room.
Andrew Rich, now a frail, 62-year-old, was escorted into a McLean County courtroom Friday for a hearing to review psychiatric reports submitted twice a year by doctors at Chester Mental Health Center where Rich receives treatment.
He's been to court more than 40 times for such reviews.
As has been the case since his arrest in 1987, doctors recommended Rich remain hospitalized. In a previous report written about 12 years after Doris Rich's death, a doctor predicted the "probability of his (Rich) ever attaining fitness in the future is nil."
Rich had a history of severe mental illness when he was accused of killing his wife. Police reports indicate Doris Rich had a sock stuffed in her throat and a broken nose when officers arrived at the bloody crime scene in 400 block of East Washington Street.
Judge Casey Costigan explained the legal proceedings to Rich, saying the doctors "indicate there's still work that needs to be done before we can go forward with any trial in this case."
Rich repeated the date of the next review hearing, June 7, but otherwise did not speak during the brief hearing.
Rich can be held for treatment until June 2049. If he has not sufficiently recovered by then, the state can seek to extend his involuntary commitment — a likely possibility given his prognosis.
Rich has spent most of his adult life in psychiatric institutions. He was first hospitalized for psychiatric disorders in Rock Island in 1974, according to court records.
Several hospitalizations followed, including his admission to McFarland Mental Health Center in Springfield in June 1987. Just a week after being discharged in November 1987, Rich was arrested in his wife's murder.