College Student Charged With Murder Says He Mistook His Mom for an Intruder

Prosecutors have filed murder charges against a college student from Illinois who bludgeoned his mother to death in the middle of the night, allegedly believing her to be an intruder, the Chicago Tribune reports. Thomas J. Summerwill, 21, was home on spring break from the University of Wisconsin-Madison on March 24 when he struck his mother, Mary B. Summerwill, multiple times in the head with a baseball bat in their Campton Hills, Illinois, home, not realizing it was her, Kane County state’s attorney’s officials said in a statement. Summerwill and his father called 911 that morning, said his defense attorney, Liam Dixon. Yet prosecutors filed second-degree murder charges this week, arguing that such charges were warranted because Summerwill was under the influence of alcohol. “The allegations are that he was essentially startled awake, believing there was an intruder in his room,” Dixon said, calling the incident a “horrible accident.” Dixon added that, “If they allege alcohol played a role, I don’t know that that changes his reasoning,” noting that Summerwill has his family’s full support.