Crime

Godfrey terror suspect's lawyer seeks 2nd mental fitness evaluation ahead of May trial

Keaun L. Cook
Keaun L. Cook Provided

The mental fitness of a man accused of corresponding with a terrorist organization has once again been called into question.

Keaun Cook, 20, of Godfrey, was charged with two felony terrorism charges accusing him of communicating with a terrorist group and planning an attack on local sites in September 2016.

On Tuesday, Judge Philip Alfeld approved a motion by Cook's new attorney, Jeff Weishaupt, for a second fitness evaluation. A court-appointed psychologist found Cook to be fit to stand trial shortly after his arrest. In October 2017, Cook's fitness was brought up again. The same court psychologist will evaluate Cook this time.

Cook's grandmother, Debra Thomas, has said her grandson has multiple mental illnesses, which have only been made worse by his time spent in the Madison County Jail awaiting trial.

Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons said Monday that no plea deals have been put on the table by the prosecution.

"Considering the well documented concerns about his mental health, it's certainly an important thing to determine," Gibbons said.

This move comes weeks before Cook is set to appear in court for his jury trial, which as of Thursday remained scheduled for May 7. In order to proceed with the trial, Cook must be found fit. If found unfit, the court then cannot move forward until his fitness is restored.

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