Lawyers seek fitness evaluation of Green Beret accused of mass shootings in Rockford

ROCKFORD – A lawyer for the US Special Forces soldier charged with a mass shooting of Don Carter Lanes says she plans to seek court approval for assessments of her client’s mental health and fitness.

US Army Sgt. 1st Class Duke Webb, 37, of Shalimar, Florida, was visiting family in Rockford, including a brother or half-brother who works as a part-time cook at Don Carter. Authorities say Webb opened fire on Saturday with two Glock pistols at the bowling alley, tavern and off-track gambling facility on East State Street, killing three and injuring three others seemingly randomly.

Experts say that a suitability exam involves a complex analysis of the suspect and his life history to determine mental competence. But they say that while his lawyers have raised the question of whether Webb suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, there is not enough publicly known to predict whether they could view insanity as a defense strategy.

Duke Webb, 37, a member of the US military from Florida, is charged with fatally shooting three people and randomly injuring three others on Saturday, December 26, 2020 at Don Carter Lanes in Rockford.

Lawyer Elizabeth Bucko of the Granger & Donahue law firm said a standard report for the trial prepared by Winnebago County Courthouse staff indicated that Webb, who travel around Afghanistan four times, can suffer from post-traumatic stress. It also indicated that Webb had scheduled a doctor’s appointment regarding a possible brain injury, she said.

Bucko said exams she asks for could be used by the court to determine if Webb is mentally fit to face trial and if there are any diagnoses of mental illness in his background. She is also considering an evaluation of Webb’s mental health before, during, and after the incident.

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