Attorney requests mental exam of Pinckneyville murder defendant

Robbie Mueller
Robbie Mueller
Sidnee Stephens
Sidnee Stephens

By Julia Bruck - bioemail

PINCKNEYVILLE, IL (KFVS) - He's just 15 years old. But Robbie Mueller is charged with two counts of murder. On Tuesday he went before a Perry County Judge. Mueller was expected to have a preliminary hearing. But Mueller's attorney, Charles Stegmeyer, requested his client have a mental examination before the case go any further.

Mueller is one of three teenagers charged in the death of 15-year-old Sidnee Stephens. She was found in Beaucoup Creek in July.  Police say Stephens was shot and strangled.

Mueller walked into court dressed in an orange jail jump suit and hand cuffs. He made eye contact with his family a few times. Stegmeyer says he asked for a mental examination to ensure the 15 year old understands his rights and the criminal system.

"I want someone to tell me Robbie mentally understands his constitutional rights and if he doesn't understand his constitutional rights then he's going to have to be treated, until he does understand his constitutional rights," Stegmeyer said.

The judge granted Stegmeyer's the request.

Mueller's mother says since her son has been in jail, he has lost 30 pounds and received threats. Mueller was set to start his first year of high school this month.  The defense says it may look into if Mueller can get a fair trial in Perry County.

Family and friends of Sidnee Stephens were also in court Tuesday. Tracy Stephens, Sidnee's mother, says the crime happened in Perry County and Mueller's trial should stay in Perry County.  She added it hasn't sunk in yet, her daughter is not coming home.

Mueller is expected back in court on October 12.

The two other teens also accused in Sidnee' Stephens death waiver their preliminary hearings. James Glazier is set to be back in court in October, as well. Meanwhile 18-year-old Carl Dane is expected to face a judge in September.

Both also face two counts of first degree murder.

Copyright 2010 KFVS. All rights reserved.