Psychatrist’s report not allowed in Crest Hill murder trial
Second judge rejects PTSD claim
By Brian Stanley
March 4, 2015

Psychiatrist Orest Wasyliw

Psychiatrist Orest Wasyliw

JOLIET – A judge has banned a psychiatrist’s report for a second time in the trial of a Crest Hill man accused of stomping his wife to death.

Judge Dave Carlson decided Wednesday the “two sentences” Dr. Orest Wasyliw added to his first report on Jerry Nichols did not make it admissible. Wasyliw determined Nichols, 64, has post-traumatic stress disorder, but retired-Judge Robert Livas, who had the case before Carlson, said the report was “circular and redundant.”

Assistant Will County State’s Attorney John Connor said Wasyliw’s conclusions were “speculative.”

Nichols, 64, allegedly struck his wife Diane, 57, with a car on Jan. 26, 2013, in the garage of their home in the 16000 block of Arborvitae Circle. Jerry Nichols called for an ambulance and paramedics arrived to allegedly find the Vietnam veteran stomping on his wife’s head.

Defense attorney Michael Ettinger said the stress from accidentally hitting his wife with the car triggered Nichols’ post-traumatic stress disorder, which led to the stomping.

“Our position is Mrs. Nichols was dead (after being struck by the car) when he went next door and the kicking was past death. We’re not trying to ‘backdoor’ an insanity defense,” Ettinger said.

Connor disagreed with Ettinger’s claim that the evidence shows Diane Nichols was already dead.

Nichols is charged with murder and aggravated domestic battery.

At an evidence hearing last year, Livas decided prosecutors could use computer search histories and printouts from Jerry Nichols’ computer. According to Connor, in late 2012, someone used the computer to look up poisons and whether they were traceable in autopsies.

Nichols’ trial has been scheduled for June.

Orest Wasyliw