So-called “serial stowaway” Marilyn Hartman was ordered released on electronic monitoring Wednesday, after a judge ruled she was now fit to stand trial.
In allowing Hartman to re-enter society, the court once again granted her freedom which she has violated repeatedly in the past.
Hartman, who has a long history of sneaking onto airline flights across America, was arrested at O’Hare airport in January after successfully boarding a British Airways flight bound for London. Released on bond after that episode, she was arrested again at O’Hare just a few days later.
But in court Wednesday, forensic psychiatrist Mathew Markos testified that months of treatment at the Elgin Mental Health Center had stabilized Hartman’s condition.
Markos said Hartman suffered from depression and delusion, but that she had responded well to new medication, and therapy which included “emotional regulation” and “relapse prevention."
“Her conditions are all in remission,” he said. “Ms. Marilyn Hartman is presently medically fit—with medications.”
Judge Maura Slattery-Boyle agreed. But the state vigorously argued against an ensuing defense request for Hartman to be released on GPS-equipped electronic monitoring pending trial, noting her airport escapades in at least four different states.
“She was on GPS when the sheriff found her GPS signal pinging at O’Hare Airport,” assistant state’s attorney Kimellen Chamberlain exclaimed. “I don’t know what’s going to stop her from going to the airport—it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop!”
But Hartman’s lawyer Parle Roe-Taylor argued that she would be taken to a private facility known as “A Safe Haven”, where she will be monitored at all times.
“Medications and therapy have taken hold,” Roe-Taylor said. “Elgin said she was ready for trial—said she was stable.”
The judge granted the request for Hartman’s release, albeit with still another of the warnings the suspect has heard time and again.
“You are not to go anywhere near an airport,” she said. “You are barred from Greyhound, anywhere that can lead out of state!”
With that, Hartman was on her way back to at least limited freedom in the outside world.
Her next court date is August 27th.