Man who killed local pastor found ‘not guilty by reason of insanity’
EDWARDSVILLE, IL (KPLR) – A Troy, Illinois man was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the March 2009 shooting death of a Maryville pastor, the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
The suspect, 33-year-old Terry Sedlacek, walked into the First Baptist Church on March 8, 2009 in the middle of a service. Sedlacek walked down the main aisle while Pastor Fred Winters was delivering a sermon.
Sedlacek pulled out a .45-caliber handgun and began firing at the pastor. Parishioners attempted to subdue Sedlacek, but he was armed with a knife. Sedlacek stabbed two men before attempting to take his own life by cutting his throat.
Pastor Winters died as a result of gunshots to the chest and abdomen. The stabbing victims eventually recovered from their injuries.
The next day, Sedlacek was charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery. After being treated for his self-inflicted stab wound, Sedlacek was moved from the hospital to the Madison County Jail and eventually the Chester Mental Health Center, where he’s stayed ever since.
Investigators learned Sedlacek was not a member of First Baptist Church, nor did he know Pastor Winters.
The court determined Sedlacek has an extensive history of mental illness, including schizophrenia, and has suffered a gradual decline of mental health since his incarceration.
As a result, Sedlacek will likely never leave the confines of a mental health facility, the state’s attorney’s office said. He will spend the next 85 years at the Alton Mental Health Center. Any request to leave the facility will require approval from a judge. The state’s attorney’s office and Pastor’s Winters’ family will be allowed to have input on the matter as well.
On behalf of 1st Baptist Church of Maryville and my daughters, I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the State’s Attorney Office and their support and hard work over the past 6 years. In situations such as ours there isn’t an outcome in which one side wins and the other loses, for really we have all lost. We are extremely grateful that we live in such a supportive and giving community. Have caring individuals around us has made all the difference during our time of loss and we cannot say, “Thank you,” enough. I would ask for prayers for both families involved as we continue to heal and go forward.