A Chicago man who escaped from Vandalia Correctional Center in 2014 was short-lived was found not guilty by reason of insanity in a stipulated bench trial on Monday afternoon.
The stipulation in that trial was that the prosecution and defense attorney in the case “agreed to a finding that (Marcus J. Battice) is insane at this moment,” Fayette County State’s Attorney Joshua Morrison said.
In agreeing to that stipulation, the two parties agreed to a court decision to have Battice turned over to the Illinois Department of Human Services.
Morrison said that Battice will be housed at the Fayette County Jail until a space for him is available in one of several secure mental health facilities operated by DHS.
Battice, 24, was sentenced to housing in such a facility for up to 14 years, which is the maximum prison term for an individual who is eligible for an extended term and convicted of a Class 2 felony offense.
If the DHS determines in less than three years, which is the minimum term for a Class 2 conviction, Battice could be returned to Fayette County for a new hearing.
If he is found to be sane in less than 14 years, Morrison said, Battice would go to a halfway house before being released, Morrison said.
Battice was ruled to be insane after several fitness evaluations.
Battice was charged with felony escape in January 2015. The charge alleged that Battice walked away from the prison, while returning from the prison commissary, on the afternoon of Sept. 23, 2014.
Battice was captured about 18 hours later on an Interstate 70 frontage road about a mile east of Vandalia.
He would have been eligible for parole in January 2015.
Associate Judge Kevin Parker was on the bench for Monday’s bench trial. Assistant State’s Attorney Brenda Mathis represented the state, and Battice was represented by Fayette County Public Defender William Starnes.