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Judge rules Chicago man can stand trial for SIU threats

April 24, 2015

BENTON, Ill. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a Chicago man is fit to stand trial on accusations he mailed violent threats to Southern Illinois University’s Carbondale campus.

U.S. District Judge Staci M. Yandle agreed with a psychiatrist’s decision regarding Derrick Dawon Burns during a Thursday status conference. The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan reports (http://bit.ly/1zUB0Kc ) Burns waived his right to a competency hearing and filed no objections to the psychiatrist’s evaluation.

Burns’ trial is scheduled for June 15 but Burns’ attorney has requested a continuance.

Burns has pleaded not guilty to felony charges related to threatening mailings he allegedly sent in 2012 and 2013. Investigators say most of the letters suggested the campus would be targeted with violence ranging from rapes to beheadings.

Burns is held without bond at the Williamson County jail.

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Information from: Southern Illinoisan, http://www.southernillinoisan.com

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