DIXON – Accused Dixon school shooter Matthew Milby Jr. is appealing the judgment handed down at his May 12 discharge hearing that sent him to state custody for mental health treatment.
In addition, a hearing on the status of Milby’s fitness to stand trial is set for Oct. 13.
At the discharge hearing, the 22-year-old Milby, who at various times while in custody in the Lee County jail refused to eat properly and take his medication, was ordered into treatment with the Illinois Department of Human Services for up to 2 years.
He also was acquitted of two felony charges of of aggravated discharge of a firearm, and found not not guilty of the other four – two counts of attempted murder for shooting at then-school resource officer Mark Dallas and gym teacher Andrew McKay; and two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm.
A not not guilty verdict is the language used because Milby still faces possible conviction of those charges.
This will be the first fitness status hearing since he was placed in DHS custody. The state will receive regular reports from here on out.
If Milby’s fitness is restored during the next 2 years, Milby can be tried on the remaining charges, which is State’s Attorney Charley Boonstra’s goal.
If it’s not restored within 2 years, the state can move to have him civilly committed up to the maximum sentence on the highest charge, which in this case was for the attempted murder of Dallas. That could be up to 80 years, and is at the discretion of the DHS.
In the meantime, Dixon attorney Tom Murray, who was appointed to represent Milby during the Lee County Court proceedings, filed an appeal June 23 with the Second District Appellate Court and asked that another attorney, likely from the Office of the State Appellate Defender, be assigned to handle it.
Among other things, Murray cites in his filing Judge John C. Redington’s ruling on several state motions, including his refusal to allow Milby to testify on his own behalf, or make reference to a desire to commit “suicide by cop.”
Murray also argues that the state did not prove its case for attempted murder in either charge, and “certainly” in Dallas’ case, and that Redington should have granted Murray’s request to allow a reexamination of Milby’s gun.
Dallas testified at the May 12 hearing that he saw muzzle flash from Milby’s gun, information Murray said he had not previously provided, and that he thought influenced Redington’s ruling. He asked the judge to allow the defense to have the gun examined by a firearms expert, to see if it could produce muzzle flash; the judge denied the request.
After filing the notice of appeal, Murray withdrew as Milby’s attorney. Eric Arnquist of Tess, Crull & Arnquist in Rochelle will represent him in county court going forward, Murray said.
Investigators say Milby, then a Dixon High School senior, took a 9mm semi-automatic rifle to graduation practice in Lancaster Gym on May 16, 2018, fired at McKay, whom he encountered in a hallway, and fled seconds later when confronted and pursued by Dallas.
Milby fired at Dallas outside the gym; Dallas returned fire, hitting Milby in the upper shoulder and hip. Milby was arrested near his car in Page Park. No one else was injured.