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Woodridge man not guilty by reason of insanity in dad’s beating death

Yashesh S. Desai

Yashesh S. Desai

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A Woodridge man with a history of mental illness who fatally beat his sleeping father with a weed trimmer was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2011 killing.

The verdict issued Monday means Yashesh Desai, 22, will undergo psychiatric treatment at a locked mental health center. The former college student — who at one point claimed he had earned three doctoral degrees and two Nobel Prizes — could be detained for as long as 60 years.

DuPage County Judge Robert Kleeman ruled that Desai was insane when he attacked his Sanjiv Desai, 47, as he slept in the family’s west suburban home on Aug. 14, 2011.

“We believe that’s the most appropriate decision,” one of his attorneys, Assistant Public Defender Ruth Walstra, said of the verdict.

Two psychologists had concluded after examining the Desai that he suffered from at least two severe psychiatric illnesses that left him unable to understand that his actions were criminal.

Desai told police after his arrest that he thought his father was planning to attack him with a knife.

He later told a psychologist that he expected his father to “reincarnate” himself as a God, prosecutors said.

Desai, who had been expelled from the University of Illinois for allegedly brandishing a knife at other students, had been seeing a psychiatrist before the slaying.

His parents had become so concerned about his erratic behavior that they had called his doctor several times on the day before the slaying and made an appointment for the following day.

Shortly after the killing, Desai was talking nonsensically and acting irrationally, said psychologist John Murray, who tried to interview him in the DuPage County Jail.

“Everything about him was very bizarre and nothing he said made any sense at all. He was not rational,” Murray testified Monday.

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