HENNEPIN — The McNabb man who violently entered a restaurant with a machete Tuesday afternoon and triggered a seven-hour standoff with law enforcement made his first appearance Thursday in Putnam County court.
Billy J. Marcano, 31, entered the courtroom heavily guarded, shackled and wearing a lime green jumpsuit and orange sandals.
Judge James A. Mack began the hearing by asking Marcano if he would be hiring his own attorney or if he would like to be represented by public defender Roger Bolin, who was seated next to Marcano.
"Yes, your honor. I can't afford my own, thank you, your honor," Marcano calmly answered.
Bolin told Mack that Marcano was waiving the reading of the charges and potential penalties. Currently, Marcano is charged with burglary, a Class 2 felony with a penalty range of three to seven years.
Before further proceedings continue, it was agreed by both the prosecution and defense that an order would be entered for Marcano to first undergo a psychiatric evaluation by Dr. Ryan Finkenbine, of Peoria, to determine his fitness to stand trial.
Mack also informed Marcano of the ramifications of refusing to cooperate or of attempting to use the doctor's fitness report in a number of ways during continued proceedings.
After the hearing, Putnam County State's Attorney Christina Judd-Mennie said Marcano's social media posts from Feb. 1 through the standoff would be entered as a consideration towards his mental fitness, as well as his prescribed medications.
During the hearing, Marcano was described as "exhibiting eccentric behavior" since being in custody. He's being held in the LaSalle County Jail because they have medical facilities.
The judge agreed that time counted toward the 120 days of the Speedy Trial Act would be halted until the psychiatric evaluation was completed. If deemed competent, Marcano will likely face additional charges, but Judd-Mennie did not elaborate.
"My main concern right now is towards his fitness. Once that's determined, we'll know how to move forward," she said.
At 1:47 p.m. on Tuesday, the Putnam County Sheriff's Office received a call that a male with a machete, later identified as Marcano, had broken through a locked interior door in the back of the Moreno's On Main restaurant and entered while making threats.
Owner Linda Moreno said he also went to an upstairs apartment, broke in, and took that tenant's cigarettes before returning to his apartment. He remained there until the standoff ended at about 9 p.m. when he surrendered to law enforcement and was taken into custody without further incident.
While Marcano was in the heavily damaged apartment, he continued to post on social media. These posts have now been filed with the court. Exacerbating the issue for law enforcement as they worked to resolve the situation peacefully were other social media users whose posts appeared to attempt to escalate the potential for violence.
During the standoff, the entrances to the village were blocked off. Businesses along Main Street were asked to lock down and for employees to remain inside until they were alerted that the area was once again safe. Putnam County Schools were also contacted, and area buses were rerouted to the McNabb Fire Station where students could be picked up safely. Several evacuated residents also used the fire station until receiving word it was safe to return home.
The Putnam County Sheriff's Office was assisted by numerous law enforcement and emergency agencies.
Marcano is being held on a $500,000 bond with 10 percent to apply. Mack set a status hearing for 11:30 a.m. on March 7.