A Sheridan man awaiting trial for allegedly firing shots at two men, injuring one, before mounting a 10-hour armed standoff will undergo a mental health evaluation.
Jeffrey L. Plique, 55, appeared Thursday in La Salle County Circuit Court for arraignment on three felony charges led by aggravated battery with a firearm, a Class X felony carrying up to 30 years in prison.
Before the judge could set trial dates, however, defense attorney Jordan Kielian requested Plique meet with a court-appointed mental health expert. At issue is whether Plique is fit for trial – does he have the faculties to assist his counsel at trial – although Kielian said there was no bona fide doubt at this time.
“I think that’s appropriate, judge,” Assistant La Salle County State’s Attorney Jeremiah Adams replied. “We would be in agreement with that.”
Judge Michael C. Jansz also agreed and postponed a trial setting until Dec. 9, by which time Plique will have met with Dr. Ryan Finkenbine, a psychiatrist in Peoria.
Plique surrendered Oct. 22 after the La Salle County Sheriff’s Office, aided by numerous law enforcement agencies, fired tear gas into a Sheridan home where he took refuge after allegedly shooting at two men, one of whom was struck in the thigh.
During his initial court appearance, Plique was overheard telling a prosecutor, “This is about the government harassing me.”
Plique remains held on $3 million bond.
Source: The Daily Chronicle