Judge Rules Anchor's Attacker Insane

Cheryl Burton says she thought she'd been shot

Thursday, Jun 4, 2009  |  Updated 8:30 AM CDT
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Judge Rules Anchor's Attacker Insane

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WLS-Channel 7 anchor (pictured here with recently retired NBC5 anchor, Warner Saunders) was one of six people attacked by a man on a rampage in the Loop last spring.

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A Berwyn man accused of attacking six people, including a television news anchor, has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Cook County Circuit Judge Clayton J. Crane on Wednesday handed down the verdict in the aggravated battery case against Gregory
Perdue, who was accused of striking WLS-TV news anchor Cheryl Burton and five others during a fist-throwing rampage in downtown Chicago.

Burton initially thought she'd been shot in the April 23, 2008 attack, the Sun-Times reports.

“I thought I had been shot so I started feeling my body for blood or some liquid,” Burton testified in Wednesday's bench trial.

After Burton’s testimony — and that of several other victims — Cook County Judge Clayton J. Crane found Perdue not guilty by reason of insanity on aggravated battery charges.

According to attorney John Benson, Perdue is schizophrenic and had been institutionalized. He said at the time of the incident, Perdue was reported missing by his family and living in a downtown alley.

Assistant State's Attorney Clarissa Palermo argued Perdue knew what he was doing when he hit the victims. Palermo backed his claim by pointing to Perdue's graduation from the University of Illinois-Chicago.
 

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