Daylon Richardson Objects to Natural Life in Prison, Neuropsychological Evaluation Ordered

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The Granite City man convicted of the April 29, 2022, death of Knox County Deputy, Deputy Nicholas Weist, filed a motion objecting to a mandatory natural life in prison sentence. Daylon Richardson was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder by a jury on February 29, 2024. A neuropsychological study is required before a ruling is made on the defense’s motion. The State agreed to pay for the neuropsychological evaluation at the motion hearing on June 10, 2024. Both parties agreed to use Dr. Anna Stapelton for the study and evaluation, according to court records. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Neuropsychological testing measures how well your brain works. It tests for a range of mental functions, like reading, language use, attention, learning, processing speed, reasoning, remembering and problem-solving, as well as mood and behavior.”

The state and defense also agreed to allow six oral victim impact statements, instead of the standard two statements. An unlimited number of written victim impact statements can be submitted.  The August 9th sentencing hearing has been vacated, and a status review is scheduled for September 16, 2024, at 9 AM.

According to the National Institute of Health, “Neuropsychological assessment is a performance-based method to assess cognitive functioning. This method is used to examine the cognitive consequences of brain damage, brain disease, and severe mental illness. There are several specific uses of neuropsychological assessment, including collection of diagnostic information, differential diagnostic information, assessment of treatment response, and prediction of functional potential and functional recovery. We anticipate that clinical neuropsychological assessment will continue to be used, even in the face of advances in imaging technology, because it is already well known that the presence of significant brain changes can be associated with nearly normal cognitive functioning, while individuals with no lesions detectable on imaging can have substantial cognitive and functional limitations.”

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