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Marcano ruled unfit to stand trial at Thursday hearing

Defiant McNabb standoff defendant assails court

Billy J. Marcano
Billy J. Marcano

HENNEPIN — An angry and defiant Billy J. Marcano appeared in Putnam County Court on Thursday morning, where he was found unfit to stand trial. His behavior during the status hearing to determine his fitness appeared to only bolster the psychiatrist’s evaluation.

Upon entry into the courtroom, Marcano immediately began yelling for his family and accusing deputies of keeping him from them. Shackled and standing, he loudly accused the people of Putnam County, particularly the residents of McNabb and members of the sheriff’s department, of conspiring against him.

It was at 1:47 p.m. on Feb. 5 when the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office received a call that a male, later identified as Marcano, 31, had used a machete to break through a locked interior door in the back of Moreno’s restaurant in McNabb and entered while making threats.

Marcano also is alleged to have gone to an upstairs apartment and broken in before returning to his residence. He remained there until the seven-hour standoff ended at approximately 9 p.m. when he surrendered to law enforcement.

Marcano had been a tenant of the apartment next to Moreno’s for almost a year. Despite warnings to not park along the street during snowfall, he is said to have done so. His vehicle was then blocked in by snow deposited from passing snowplows.

In court Thursday, appearing tense and with his hands cuffed in front of him, Marcano loudly complained that after his car had been plowed in that McNabb residents mocked him as he attempted to shovel it out. He also accused unnamed bikers he knew of cutting his brake lines in an attempt to kill him.

Twice, he said, the sheriff’s office was called for help, and he said he had been ignored. He then questioned where those call recordings were and said they would prove how he had been treated.

“You’re protecting your own, you should’ve been fired. I want to show what this town has been doing to me,” he vehemently yelled at one of the many deputies surrounding him.

He said that before the standoff, he had no vehicle, no food, nowhere to go, and that no one would help him. He then said everyone in the county was racist and that he’d also been mistreated and threatened with “an attitude adjustment” by deputies while in custody.

Surrounded by several deputies, Marcano angrily turned his attention toward Public Defender Roger Bolin.

“You don’t care about me, you threatened to hang up on me when I called you for help, so f--- you, you’re fired. I’ll represent myself,” he yelled at Bolin, who had moved away from the defense table.

Judge James Mack informed Marcano that Bolin was only representing him for this particular matter and nothing else.

“Where’s my rights? I’m not a law guy, but I believe I have the right to choose who represents me,” Marcano angrily told Mack.

He also took issue with being evaluated by psychiatrist Dr. Ryan Finkenbine, chair and professor of Clinical Psychiatry at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Peoria.

Marcano said Finkenbine was an atheist who had mocked his religious beliefs. He then told Mack he wanted to be re-evaluated by a Christian and began speaking of biblical prophecies.

“Surely you can respect my request to be evaluated by someone of my own faith who won’t mock my beliefs,” he told the judge during one of the few calm exchanges.

When Bolin attempted to inform the court of Dr. Finkenbine’s findings that Marcano wasn’t yet fit to stand trial, Marcano’s anger quickly returned.

“Why are you still talking? I told you you were fired, so shut the f--- up,” he yelled at Bolin.

Mack threatened Marcano with removal from the courtroom if he didn’t change his behavior.

“Mr. Marcano, these tirades aren’t getting you anywhere,” he calmly said.

“Why should I behave? This isn’t justice. I curse all of you. You’re throwing my life away. They want me to look insane and ruin my life. Who’s going to hire me now? I had a TSA security clearance at O’Hare, but who’s going to hire me now? Don’t you see what you’re doing to me?” he yelled at the court.

Marcano’s social media posts were also considered during his psychiatric evaluation.

“At a stand off. I assure you people of this area. My blood is on your hands. And God will avenge me.” Marcano posted on Facebook during the incident.

The evaluation was ordered sealed, but Finkenbine advised he felt it could be shared with Marcano and his family without harm. Another status hearing was scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on May 23. Before that hearing, Marcano will have been treated and re-evaluated. Upon hearing that he’d remain in custody until at least that date, he made another angry outburst.

Following the hearing, Putnam County State’s Attorney Christina Judd-Mennie said they were still searching for a facility to treat Marcano and that he would be evaluated every 90 days.

“We’re not moving forward with any other charges until he’s cared for. That’s all we’re concerned with for now,” she said, adding that with treatment, he may be determined to be fit to stand trial in a year.

Marcano is being held in the LaSalle County Jail on a Putnam County warrant for burglary.

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