Crime & Courts

Attorney: Campton Hills man beat his mother to death by accident; thought she was intruder

Attorney Liam Dixon said Thomas Summerwill killed his mother by accident on March 24, mistaking her for an intruder in the early morning darkness of his second-floor bedroom, hitting her with a souvenir baseball bat signed by former Chicago Cubs player Derrek Lee that had been mounted above his bed.

Dixon could not say how many times Thomas Summerwill, 21, hit his mother, Mary Summerwill, 53, but that it was “repeatedly.”

“He was home on break. He had just returned from a trip to Europe,” Dixon said. “She was in his bedroom and he thought it was an intruder in his room in the dark.”

Dixon could not say what time it occurred, other than early morning, and that it was dark. As to why his mother was in his bedroom, Dixon said, “Maybe she was checking on him.”

Thomas Summerwill was charged with two counts of second degree murder May 13 and bond was set at $300,000. Dixon said his client would be posting $30,000 bail or 10% of the bond that was set. Kane County Circuit Court Judge Keith Johnson set Summerwill’s next court date for May 23.

Speaking after bond court Tuesday, Dixon said Thomas Summerwill is supported by his father, Jeffrey Summerwill, his brother Ryan Summerwill, as well as Mary Summerwill’s father, brothers and sisters.

“It’s devastating,” Dixon said of the circumstances of Mary Summerwill’s death on the family.

According to the Campton Hills police department, on the morning of March 24, both local and sheriff’s police officers responded to a 911 call at Summerwill’s home on the 40W600 block of Willowbrook Drive and found Mary Summerwill, who subsequently was taken to Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva, where she died.

The coroner’s office later determined she most likely died of cranial injuries from a baseball bat attack.

Dixon said the charges against Thomas Summerwill are based on the belief that his actions were intentional and his explanation of why he struck his mother repeatedly was unreasonable.

Johnson agreed with Assistant State’s Attorney David Belshan on that amount because Summerwill cooperated with investigators, has no criminal record and the charges are probationable.

Mary Summerwill and her husband of more than 26 years, Jeffrey Summerwill, have two sons, Thomas, and Ryan, 19.

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