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CHARLESTON -- The mental condition of a man accused of crimes including stealing a vehicle and damaging property led to his acquittal.

Daniel J. Ramsey was found not guilty by reason of insanity by a judge, based on a psychologist's evaluation.

It concluded that Ramsey's mental condition prevented him of understanding that what he did was against the law.

Ramsey, 37, whose most recent address on record is on South 16th Street in Mattoon, was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and property damage in connection with incidents on May 15 of last year.

He was accused of stealing a vehicle from the KC Summers auto dealership at 2404 Lake Land Blvd., Mattoon, then running it into a garage at Immaculate Conception Church, 320 N 21st St, Mattoon.

Ramsey was also charged with possession of methamphetamine for allegedly having the drug on the same day.

That was also the day he was arrested after reportedly threatening to set fire to the Mattoon Salvation Army building at 1300 Richmond Ave., according to records in his case.

The records also say the auto dealership's security video recorded Ramsey breaking into a key drop box and taking keys to steal the vehicle. It also showed him removing license plates from other vehicles, according to the records.

In December, Coles County Circuit Judge granted a motion from Assistant Public Defender Jesse Danley for an examination of Ramsey's mental condition.

At a recent hearing, Danley and State's Attorney Brian Bower said they agreed with the findings in the report from psychologist Jerry Boyd. O'Brien then made his ruling of not guilty by reason of insanity.

O'Brien then ordered Ramsey into the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services for treatment.

The case will be reviewed on a regular basis, and O'Brien scheduled Ramsey's first review hearing for Aug. 1. Ramsey could be released if he's deemed cured but the criminal charges can't be reinstated.

Ramsey's criminal record meant he faced the possible of sentences beyond the usual maximum had he been convicted. It also meant prison time would have been required for the stolen vehicle offense.

Records show Ramsey's earlier convictions include methamphetamine, marijuana and driving while license revoked offenses for which he served prison time.

Contact Dave Fopay at 217-238-6858. Follow him on Twitter: @FopayDave.


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