Man charged in East Moline murder to undergo psychological evaluation

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ROCK ISLAND, Illinois -- A psychological evaluation has been ordered for a man charged in an East Moline murder case.

Minor was charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of 52-year-old Jon Keener.  Keener was shot in the head and killed near the intersection of 3rd Street and 15th Avenue in East Moline on Tuesday, February 6.

Related: Family of man killed in East Moline shooting says they are not mad at shooter; that’s what Jon would have wanted

On Tuesday, March 6, 29-year-old Willie Minor appeared in court for a preliminary hearing.

Jon Keener, photo from Keener's public Facebook profile.

Initially, Drew Larson, Minor's defense attorney told the judge that because of media interest, he recommended his client waive the preliminary hearing.

"I want to be clear on the record, that my advice to my client is to not have a preliminary hearing today," said Larson, "and the main reason for that is the media is here in the courtroom today and I just believe it's going to make the case more difficult to defend and potentially create issues with a jury pool."

Concerned that Minor wasn't clearly understanding the decision to proceed with the preliminary hearing, the judge gave Larson and Minor some time away to talk.  When they returned, Larson said he would like his client to be evaluated, to see if he was fit to stand trial.

Larson gave this recommendation after saying he had "spent hours discussing this one issue with (Minor) and he continues to say in court that he doesn’t understand what’s going on."

The prosecutors agreed to the psychological evaluation, but said they weren't convinced he needed it.  They said multiple times the defendant may be "malingering," or fabricating the symptoms of a mental disorder for personal gain.

"We are concerned again that the defendant is malingering and he does understand the proceedings today," said Rock Island County State's Attorney John McGeHee, "so we wanted to put that on the record as well too."

"I understand the state’s position that there’s a possibility of malingering, which in the long run if that’s the case that works against Mr. Minor," said the judge.

If Minor is found unfit to stand trial he will be turned over the the Department of Human Services for fitness restoration.

Minor was being held in the Rock Island County Jail.  His next court appearance is set for April 3rd.

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