News - McHenry County

Round Lake Beach man found not guilty but insane in murder case

Ramirez-Arguelles told authorities he could see into hearts, believed he was a ninja

A judge found Ramriez-Argueles was insane at the time he crossed lanes of traffic and drove head on into a car driven by Sonja Hume, who died as a result of the crash. Ramriez-Argueles was found not guilty by reason of insanity for the first-degree murder charge against him.

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry County judge found that a Round Lake Beach man was legally insane when he crossed into oncoming traffic and drove head on into a vehicle driven by Sonia Hume.

The Hebron-area crash killed the 38-year-old woman, who was pronounced dead on the scene. Luis E. Ramirez-Arguelles, 24, was charged with first-degree murder, and on Wednesday Judge Sharon Prather declared him not guilty by reason of insanity. Ramirez-Arguelles told police he heard voices telling him to stop the “bad guys” in the car driven by Hume just before he crashed into her on Aug. 5, 2011.

Ramirez-Arguelles also told authorities he had special powers, that he could see into hearts, and he believed he was a ninja, attorneys have said. Prosecutors said Ramirez-Arguelles was driving faster than 55 miles per hour on Tryon Grove Road, just east of Barnard Mill Road. When police told him the woman died, he said he would have done it the same, Assistant State’s Attorney Sharyl Eisenstein has said.

He was previously found psychologically incompetent to stand trial, and a stipulated bench trial was held last month before Prather. Competency, or fitness, pertains to a defendant’s current mental status and ability to assist in the defense. Insanity deals with whether a person was legally able to tell the difference between right and wrong while committing a crime. Although prosecutors proved that Ramirez-Arguelles was guilty of first-degree murder, Prather also found the defense provided “clear and convincing” evidence that he suffered from a mental disease at the time.

His defense attorney Michael Melius said his client was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

“There is no evidence to indicate that he was anything other than insane at the time this happened,” Melius said last month.

Ramirez-Arguelles was ordered to the custody of the Department of Human Services and a future hearing will determine whether further treatment is necessary. His next court date is June 11.