Man accused of murdering grandmother and brother in Rock Island ruled unfit to stand trial

ROCK ISLAND -- John Conwell, the man accused of killing his grandmother and uncle by striking them with a blunt object then cutting their throats, was found unfit to stand trial due to mental illness in Rock Island Circuit Court on Tuesday, Aug. 8.

According to court records, Conwell will be remanded to the Illinois Department of Human Services for treatment. A follow-up hearing has been scheduled for Sept. 18, 2017. Under Illinois law, he will be re-evaluated to see if he can attain fitness to stand trial within one year. In addition, Illinois law says a defendant is unfit for trial if they have a mental or physical condition preventing them from understanding court proceedings and unable to assist in their own defense.

Conwell was arrested in May and charged with two counts of first degree murder in the deaths of Eleanor Conwell, 90 and Steve Conwell, 69, his grandmother and uncle.

Court records reveal Conwell has a long history of arrests, including aggravated DUI, aggravated domestic battery, drug possession, violating an order of protection, and aggravated assault.

At the time of the murders, Conwell was broke and living in a tent in the back of his grandmother's house.