College Student Says He Mistook Mom for Intruder After Beating Her to Death

By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter

May 15, 2019

A 21-year-old college student who had returned home for spring break was arrested after allegedly beating his 53-year-old mother to death using a baseball bat because he believed she was an intruder and he was defending himself.

Kane County Prosecutors on Monday charged Thomas Summerwill, 21, with two counts of second degree murder for the beating death of his mother, Mary Summerwill. A judge set a $300,000 bond for the University of Wisconsin-Madison student.

Prosecutors say on the morning of March 24, Summerwill was woken by someone in his room who he believed was an intruder. The college student grabbed a souvenir baseball bat hanging over his bed, and struck the 'intruder' multiple times in the head, apparently not realizing it was his mother. Thomas and his father called 911 that morning shortly after the attack. His mother Mary was transported to a local hospital where she later died from her injuries. The coroner's office determined that she had most likely died from injuries sustained from a baseball bat attack.

Prosecutors say that because they believe Summerwill was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident, his belief there was an intruder in his room was "not reasonable."

Liam Dixon, Summerwill's defense attorney, told the Chicago Tribune that his client has the full support of his family members and classified the incident as a "horrible accident."

"It was a freak accident and a tragic, horrible story all the way around," Dixon said.

Summerwill, who has no criminal history, just completed his junior year of college after graduating from St. Charles North High School. The 21-year-old is due back in court on May 23.

If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.

Photo: Kane County Jail

Chat About College Student Says He Mistook Mom for Intruder After Beating Her to Death