Suburban man gets probation in mom’s beating death

Chicago News

PHOTO: Thomas Summerwill (Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office)

GENEVA, Ill. (AP) — A suburban Chicago man has been sentenced to four years of probation after pleading guilty to beating his mother to death with a baseball ball after he drunkenly mistook her for an intruder.

Thomas Summerwill, 23, pleaded guilty last week to involuntary manslaughter in the March 2019 death of 53-year-old Mary Summerwill in their west suburban Campton Hills home.

A Kane County judge accepted Summerwill’s plea agreement and sentenced him July 28. Aside from probation, he must perform 200 hours of community service, wear an alcohol monitor for up to a year, undergo a psychological evaluation and complete substance-abuse counseling.

After police found Mary Summerwill unconscious on the floor of her son’s bedroom, with Summerwill holding a towel to her head, he told officers, “I didn’t know it was my mother. Oh, my God, what did I do?”

Summerwill said he awoke to find a person he believed to be an intruder standing near his bed, and he grabbed a baseball bat off a wall and hit that person repeatedly. His mother died of head injuries.

Summerwill had a blood-alcohol concentration of .27 — more than three times the limit for drivers to be considered intoxicated in Illinois — and also had THC, marijuana’s active ingredient, in his system.

Defense attorney Liam Dixon previously said Summerwill — then a 21-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison student — had just returned from a trip to Europe and may have been experiencing jet lag at the time of the attack.

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