Accused Priest Killer Unfit for Trial

The 27-year-old was armed with enough bullets to kill 30 people

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Prosecutors believe 27-year-old Terry J. Sedlacek intended to kill dozens of people at a downstate church on Sunday. Instead, he killed one, the church pastor.

    An Edwardsville man accused of gunning down a pastor during a Sunday sermon on March 8 has been deemed mentally unfit to stand trial, a judge ruled Tuesday.

    Terry Sedlacek, 27, was found to be schizophrenic by psychologist Robert Heilbronner following a court-ordered mental examination.  He will be kept in the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services to determine in 30 days if his mental capacity is believed to improve within the year.

    Heilbronner reportedly said that Sedlacek would "have significant difficulty listening to and understanding explanations that are provided to him, and be unable to respond in a relevant manner during pleading or testimony," the Chicago Tribune reports.

    Sedlacek is facing first-degree murder and aggravated battery charges after he shot and killed the Rev. Fred Winters, 45, at the First Baptist Church, armed with a .45-caliber Glock handgun and enough bullets to kill 30 people.  He then allegedly stabbed two congregants who tried to subdue him after his gun jammed.

    The shooting in Maryville was initially believed by the congregation to be a skit, after the first shot clipped the Bible that Winters was holding, spraying pieces of it into the air like confetti.

    Sedlacek's family initially attributed the man's erratic behavior to Lyme disease, but the judge's ruling makes no reference to that particular ailment, the Tribune reports.