02/06/2018 - U.S: (Morgan Co) Approved: A County judge has ruled for the appointment of an expert witness in Robert Gill's murder case

Court records show that Gill's attorney's motion for the appointment of an expert witness was approved on September 26. Jacksonville police say Robert Gill, 63, was arrested in connection with the September 2015 death of his former son-in-law Andrew Maul, 36. Gill is facing charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and residential arson. Gill, 63, is accused of the Sept. 11, 2015, killing of his 36-year-old ex-son-in-law Andrew Maul in the Jacksonville Municipal Building parking lot and the subsequent arson fire that destroyed the home of Maul’s mother.

As a result of the appointment of an expert witness in this trial, the October 10, 2017 trial date was vacated, and will be rescheduled for March.

Circuit Judge April Troemper on Tuesday ruled that in order to receive a fair trial, Gill’s defense requires that Morgan County pay Chicago psychiatrist Dr. Alexander Obolsky up to $10,000 for his pretrial examination of Gill. The defense argued in a court hearing Sept. 15 that Gill can no longer afford to pay Obolsky for a mental evaluation they say is critical to their case.

Obolsky’s original fee to examine Gill, 63, and testify at his trial was cited in court as $37,000, but at Troemper’s urging, the defense convinced Obolsky to lower his fee to an estimated $9,800 for the pretrial examination.

During the September 15 hearing, Troemper cited an appellate court ruling issued just days before, where a conviction was overturned after a judge denied the defense the opportunity to use an expert witness at trial.

Defense attorney Scott Hanken said he expects the psychiatrist will give valuable insights about Gill’s state of mind at the time of the Sept. 11, 2015 shooting of Andrew Maul, Gill’s former son-in-law, and the arson that destroyed the home of Maul’s mother. Hanken indicated that those observations might include evidence of self-defense or the effects of sleep deprivation as it relates to the crime.