Probation, counseling ordered for Bartlett man who killed wife while in psychotic state

Bartlett man strangled his wife while in a psychotic state

  • Carlo Madonia

    Carlo Madonia

  • Flowers are placed as a memorial against the curbside mailbox of Carlo and Nancy Madonia's house in Bartlett. Carlo Madonia pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in her death, and was sentenced Monday to four years of probation.

      Flowers are placed as a memorial against the curbside mailbox of Carlo and Nancy Madonia's house in Bartlett. Carlo Madonia pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in her death, and was sentenced Monday to four years of probation. Eric Peterson | Staff Photographer, 2017

 
 
Updated 6/29/2020 5:58 PM

A Bartlett man was sentenced to four years of probation Monday for killing his wife in 2017 while he suffered psychotic depression after a heart attack and open-heart surgery.

Carlo Madonia, 60, was to be freed from the DuPage County jail Monday after receiving credit for the more than three years he spent there and in a state mental hospital while awaiting trial and sentencing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Prosecutors had asked DuPage Judge Brian Telander to sentence Madonia to 10 years in prison, the maximum agreed to in an April 2019 plea agreement.

"This is an unusual and sad and difficult case," Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Lindt said. "Much of what happened was outside the control of the defendant."

Madonia pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for choking Nancy Madonia in a bathroom at their house.

Their adult son, whom Nancy had asked to come to the house, found Madonia lying, catatonic and bleeding, on the kitchen floor. After being treated at a hospital, Madonia told prosecutors and detectives he had killed Nancy because she was "nagging" him about returning to work after recovering from a heart attack and subsequent heart surgery. He said he then tried to kill himself.

Madonia's son, his stepdaughter and several in-laws wrote letters of support for Madonia. He will live with his son, defense attorney Terry Ekl told Telander.

"The decline of Carlo Madonia began on April 17, 2017, when he had open-heart surgery," Ekl said.

He and relatives believe the medication he received induced the psychotic depression that made him paranoid. The family admitted him to Alexian Brothers Behavioral Health Hospital, Ekl said, "but some worthless doctor over there decides the insurance is running out and discharges him after just three days."

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Madonia could have been sentenced months ago. But in November, Telander found him unfit for sentencing and sent him for treatment at a state mental hospital. Madonia had stopped eating and lost 35 pounds in three weeks, Ekl said at the time, and refused to communicate with anyone, including Ekl.

"In all my years in the criminal justice system, I don't know if I have ever seen a more tragic case," Ekl said.

Madonia had no criminal history, Telander said. Telander said that if he merely sentenced Madonia to prison, there was no guarantee Madonia would receive any psychiatric treatment. And because Madonia would likely receive day-for-day credit, he might have ended up spending only two more years in custody.

Madonia will have to undergo psychiatric treatment while he is on probation.

"It's been three years since I stopped living," Madonia said in a letter Ekl read aloud for him. "I loved my wife with all my heart for 31 years of marriage ... I was just not myself that day. I was physically and mentally ill."

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