Prospective jurors arrived early Monday morning in Princeton for the start of a murder trial in Ohio, Illinois. The defendant in the case, Matthew J. Pairadi, 31, is charged with first-degree murder, home invasion and aggravated assault.
Pairadee initially asked to defend himself at trial and chose to plead not guilty and requested a speedy trial by a jury of his peers.
As the parties convened, Judge James Andreoni told all potential jurors and parties present that Monday’s trial was only to determine Pairadee’s fitness to stand trial, not to determine his innocence or guilt on the charges.
The fitness test was ordered after hearing the results of two mental evaluations, which were ordered to obtain professional opinions about Pairadee’s overall mental fitness. Andreoni said that while the court is dealing with a criminal case, Monday’s trial is a civil trial.
A total of 12 jurors were formally selected, with one alternate, after deliberation and three challenges by Pairadee’s representatives, defense attorney Brad Popurela and defense attorney Timothy Gatza.
Before the jury heard testimony, Andreoni said fitness in this case is determined by two requirements: having the mental understanding to understand the proceedings in the case, the charges against the defendant and the roles of the participants in the case, and having the mental capacity to assist in your own protection.
After State’s Attorney Thomas Bridick and Gatza’s opening statements, Bridick called Dr. Terry Killian to testify.
Killian began his testimony by saying that he is the owner and founder of Killian and Associates in Springfield and spends between 70-80% of his work time participating in independent examinations. This includes employee interviews, criminal evaluations, and more.
At Bridick’s request and without objection from the defense, Andreoni qualified Killian as an expert in the eyes of the court.
Killian went on to testify that he performed a mental evaluation via Zoom on Pairadee on December 12. The meeting lasted an hour and 23 minutes.
Killian testified during his assessment, Pairadi interrupted numerous times and also said he wanted to live-stream the interview to “nationally expose corruption.”
Killian said, among many other things, Pairadee discussed a variety of topics, including his belief that many people around him were involved in major conspiracies, including a sex-trafficking ring, whitewashing his daughter and terrorism.
Killian also said Pairadee mentions being in contact with the FBI, CIA, NSA, DCFS and multiple Ivy League schools about the conspiracies. Pairadee added that many people are after him, including Elon Musk, Google, big pharma and tech companies.
When asked if Pairadee understood the charges he was facing and the law and rules surrounding it, Killian indicated that he decided that Pairadee did have such an understanding.
Following Killian’s testimony, Dr. Jean Clore, associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Illinois-Peoria College of Medicine, will testify before the jury. Clore was also determined to qualify as an expert in the eyes of the court.
Clore said her mental health evaluation with Pairadee took place in person, lasted two hours and took place on Jan. 20 at the behest of the state of Illinois.
Her initial observations on the assessment echoed much of what Killian had said, that she observed Pairadee to be cooperative and well-behaved, but exhibiting delusions.
To Clore, Pairadee revealed his belief in the conspiracy theories surrounding him, including an underground sex-trafficking channel, and he was attacked by Musk and Rockefeller.
Through their mental evaluations, both Killian and Clore said they did not believe Peirdy was fit to stand trial due to delusional disorder. Clore also added that he believed Pairadi also suffered from major depressive disorder and methamphetamine use disorder.
Both experts said their diagnosis came from their assessments with Pairadee as preliminary documents that were presented to them prior to the assessments.
Killian and Claire agreed that while Pairadee meets the first requirement of fitness to stand trial, understanding his charges and the court process, they believe he does not meet the second requirement, ability to assist in his own defense due to his delusional disorder .
The first day of the trial was adjourned on Monday with plans to reconvene at 9am on Tuesday. Pairadee’s defense said Pairadee could choose to testify at Tuesday’s trial before the jury was dismissed to discuss his fitness to stand trial.