People v. DomagalaAnnotate this Case
In 2003, Domagala, a live-in caretaker, was seen repeatedly striking and pressing the throat of his 84-year-old charge, Stanley. Approximately a week after being taken to the emergency room, Stanley was discharged to a nursing home with a feeding tube in place. While in the nursing home, Stanley pulled out the tube several times causing peritonitis, a systemic infection, which ultimately led to his death. Domagala was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 40 years. He filed a post-conviction petition, alleging that his trial counsel rendered ineffective assistance when he failed to conduct a diligent investigation to discover that a superseding, intervening cause, i.e., gross negligence of treating medical staff, and not petitioner’s conduct, caused the death of the victim. The circuit court dismissed. The appellate court affirmed. The Illinois Supreme Court reversed, finding that Domagala is entitled to an evidentiary hearing.