Judge refuses plea from defendant

Mental evaluation ordered for Edwin Peacock

Thursday, July 12, 2007

GALESBURG - Calling the defendant "nuts and looney," Judge James Stewart refused to accept a plea bargain of the man accused of hitting his son with a crowbar last month.

Edwin M. Peacock, 69, 10 Chestnut St., was scheduled for an arraignment Wednesday in Knox County Circuit Court. Peacock's public defender Jim Harrell said Peacock was pleading guilty to a charge of aggravated battery. Harrell then described the terms of the plea agreement: 30 months conditional discharge, 30 days in jail with credit for time served and court costs.

Stewart questioned whether the sentence was appropriate, telling Harrell, "This kind of behavior is so bizarre. Your client is nuts and needs a mental health evaluation."

Stewart reserved the plea agreement pending the outcome of a mental evaluation.

Peacock allegedly attacked his son, Louis Peacock, 25, with a crowbar on Father's Day. Louis believed he was possessed by demons and asked his father to kill him, then cut off his head, Edwin told police.

Edwin told investigators his son devised a plan where Louis would take sleeping pills, then Edwin would enter his room and strike him on the head with a baseball bat.

Edwin told police he was planning on decapitating the body, dousing the head with gasoline, then burning it in their basement.

Edwin said Louis had become involved in researching the occult during the last two months and tried to commit suicide several times by taking over-the-counter drugs. He told police Louis attempted suicide by cutting his wrist with a knife on the day of the attack.

Edwin told police he tried to carry out the plan June 17 after his son took sleeping pills but could not find a baseball bat. Edwin found a crowbar and struck Louis in the head once.

According to Edwin, Louis awoke, then told his father to leave the residence so he could die. Edwin went to Hy-Vee and called police.

Louis denied the incident ever took place and refused to have his injuries photographed. He said the incident was a domestic problem, and he was not angry at his father.

Police reports indicated Louis was taken to a mental facility after treatment for a head wound.

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