Johnsburg man accused in armed standoff had 50-year mental illness history but owned guns legally, judge told

Timothy Mumford was ordered to be held in jail pending psychological tests

Timothy Mumford

A man who authorities say shot a gun inside his Johnsburg home last week – triggering school closings and a nine-hour standoff with police – will be detained in the McHenry County Jail pretrial.

Timothy Mumford, 74, who officials said refused to come out of his jail cell Monday and Tuesday for his first appearance and pretrial detention hearing required under the SAFE-T Act, is charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm, reckless discharge of a firearm and reckless conduct, according to prosecutors and McHenry County court records.

Court records updated online late last week indicated that the initial charges against Mumford had been upgraded to a Class X felony. However, officials said Tuesday that was an error and that the upgraded charge of aggravated discharge of a firearm was, in this case, a Class 1 felony, the next highest level.

A Johnsburg police officer photographs damages to a home in the 3600 block of Fillmore Road on Wednesday, Nov, 15, 2023.

On Tuesday, Judge Jennifer Johnson also granted a defense attorney’s motion to have Mumford evaluated by a mental health professional.

Assistant Public Defender David Giesinger, appointed for Mumford’s initial hearings, said he has not been able to communicate with Mumford. Giesinger said he has found that there is a “bonafide doubt” as to Mumford’s fitness to stand trial.

Mumford appeared on a monitor during the hearing that only the judge could see. Johnson said he appeared to be lying on a mat, unclothed and covered by a blanket.

He could hear what was going on in the courtroom but did not speak during the hearing.

On Monday, a similar scenario occurred, and Mumford was heard yelling a couple of times during the hearing. Due to the circumstances, the hearing was continued to Tuesday.

In arguing Mumford be detained pretrial, Assistant State’s Attorney Brian Miller noted that, hours before the standoff began, Mumford made a 911 call at 4:38 p.m. on Nov. 14, saying there were “suspicious vehicles,” CIA and terrorists outside his home.

When police responded and asked him questions, Mumford was “evasive” and walked back into his home, Miller said.

Mumford’s wife of 53 years told police that she had concerns for his mental health, Miller said in court. She was provided with a referral to a social worker and the police left. She was advised to call police again if any further incidents occurred, Miller said.

At about 11 p.m., Mumford’s wife called police saying he was shooting his gun inside their house, Miller said. When police responded they helped the woman to safety.

Mumford did not exit until 8 a.m. the next day following a standoff with a McHenry County Sheriff’s SWAT team and police throwing “toxic chemicals” into the house and removing him, Miller said.

During their investigation, police found bullet holes in the ceiling of the living room and a wall, and also found the firearm used, for which Mumford had a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card, the prosecutor said. Mumford’s wife had told a police dispatcher during a 911 call the day of the standoff that Mumford had at least 10 guns in the home.

One of the bullets struck a wall adjacent to where Mumford knew the woman was sitting in her bedroom on the other side; and bullet holes also were found around a front window of the house, Miller said.

Mumford told the woman he was shooting to remove “pests” from the walls, Miller said.

The woman said her husband had suffered from schizophrenia since 1971 and had “episodes” in 1971, 1997 and 2014, Miller said in court, adding that Mumford “consistently declined” mental health care.

On Nov. 10, he began acting “erratic,” making “obscene statements” to his wife, drinking alcohol and was not sleeping, Miller said.

Then on Nov. 14, he began carrying a gun around and saying the CIA, terrorists and suspicious vehicles were outside his home, the prosecutor said. At one point, Mumford went into the woman’s bedroom with the gun and told her she would be hearing popping sounds.

His sister said that if Mumford was released from the county jail, he would have nowhere to go and asked that he be sent to a mental health facility to get the help he needs, Miller said.

Mumford’s psychological and social history “indicates” he suffers from mental illness, Miller said, calling it “sad situation” and that it is “very clear he is a danger to himself and to others and the community at large.”

Johnson wrote in her order to detain Mumford: “No conditions can properly mitigate the danger to the victim and community in light of the lethality of Mr. Mumford’s alleged actions coupled with his untreated mental health condition.”

The mental health evaluation will take place in the county jail. The judge set Monday for a status hearing on Mumford’s legal representation and mental health evaluation.

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