A judge on Monday found a Chicago man “guilty but mentally ill” on murder and other charges for intentionally driving into oncoming traffic, hitting a van head-on and killing its driver near Hebron.
William P. Bishop, 44, of Chicago, was charged in June 2020 with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated battery, reckless homicide, aggravated reckless driving and two counts of aggravated driving under the influence.
The incident occurred on May 18, 2020, in the 11500 block of Vanderkarr Road in unincorporated Hebron.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived and found a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 2003 Chevrolet 3500 cargo van that crashed on Vanderkarr Road west of Kemman Road.
McHenry County Sheriff Sgt. Aimee Knop said at the time that an investigation indicated the Jeep, driven by Bishop, was traveling westbound on Vanderkarr Road.
The Jeep crossed into the eastbound lane of traffic onto the eastbound shoulder where it struck the front of the eastbound Chevrolet.
The Chevrolet rolled over and the driver, Jason Miller, 41, of McHenry, was pronounced dead at the scene, the McHenry County Coroner’s Office said.
The passenger, a 56-year-old McHenry man, was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Major Accident Investigation Unit and Criminal Investigation Division discovered that Bishop intentionally drove his vehicle into the Chevrolet, the sheriff’s office said.
McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said at the time that prosecutors believed Bishop was trying to harm himself.
A criminal complaint filed in court stated that Bishop knew the crash was likely to cause serious injuries or death.
Bishop did not know the victims of the vehicle he struck.
Bishop was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with serious injuries.
Drivers of both vehicles were wearing their seatbelts but the passenger of the Chevrolet was not wearing his seatbelt, Knop said.
A bench trial concluded last month before McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge.
The Northwest Herald, citing trial testimony and recorded police interviews, reported that Bishop was feeling paranoid, hearing voices and had smoke marijuana on the day of the crash.
Prosecutors argued that Bishop acted intentionally and criminally.
During a Monday court hearing, Coppedge announced that he had found Bishop guilty “but mentally ill” on the charges, court records show.
A finding of guilty but mentally ill means Bishop will still be sentenced to prison but he will receive mental health treatment while serving his sentence.
Bishop has been free on a $1 million bond following his arrest. His bond was revoked Monday following the verdict hearing.
Bishop faces a minimum of 20 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and a maximum of 60 years.
A status hearing in the case is scheduled for December 7.