Psychiatrist to evaluate Plainfield Township man charged with hate crime murder

Joseph Czuba sits at a hearing at the Will County Courthouse on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023 in Joliet. Joseph Czuba, 71, was arraigned on charges of first-degree murder of 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume and and attempting to kill his mother, Hanaan Shahin, 32, on Oct. 14 at a Plainfield Township residence.

A forensic psychiatrist has been hired by defense attorneys for a Plainfield Township landlord charged with stabbing a child to death and attempting to murder the child’s mother on the basis of their Islamic faith.

On Thursday, George Lenard, attorney for Joseph Czuba, 72, told Will County Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak that he is requesting any reports generated by federal authorities so Phillip Resnick, a forensic psychiatrist from Ohio, can use them in his evaluation of Czuba.

Czuba is charged with the Oct. 14 first-degree murder of Wadea Al-Fayoume, 6, and the attempted murder of his mother, Hanaan Shahin, at his residence in Plainfield Township. He’s also charged with a committing a hate crime against the two because of their Islamic faith.

Bertani-Tomczak granted Lenard’s request to receive federal reports and any audio recordings of Czuba that may exist at the Will County jail.

Lenard made his request for reports and files from federal authorities on Czuba because they are working with Will County law enforcement on an ongoing hate crimes investigation. Lenard said he needs those records for the preparation of Czuba’s defense.

“It’s our position there are other reports out there,” Lenard said.

Joseph Czuba confers with his defense lawyers, George Lenard, left, and Kylie Blatti for a hearing at the Will County Courthouse on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023 in Joliet. Joseph Czuba, 71, was arraigned on charges of first-degree murder of 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume and attempting to kill the boy's mother, Hanaan Shahin, 32, on Oct. 14 at a Plainfield Township residence.

Lenard also requested recordings from any inmates who may be wearing a wire after becoming concerned that his client was in contact with such an inmate. Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Fitzgerald had a representative from the jail testify that he was unaware of any inmate wearing a wire.

Another request from Lenard was access to any recordings between Czuba and his attorneys.

“I’m not saying it’s happening for sure,” Lenard said.

Lenard said he wanted the reports and recordings in an “expedited manner” for Resnick’s evaluation of Czuba. He said Resnick needs as much discovery as possible on Czuba.