Thomas Summerwill Wiki
Thomas Summerwill appeared to have a promising future. The 21-year-old University of Wisconsin-Madison college student exuberantly wrote about interning for prominent local politicians and a state’s attorney’s office. He was named the Student Judiciary Chief Justice.
However, authorities say, while Summerwill was home for spring break, he allegedly beat his mother to death with a souvenir baseball bat in his bedroom. The Madison junior claimed he thought she was an intruder, the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office in Illinois says.
Now Summerwill – who also goes by the name Tommy Summerwill – is accused of second-degree murder. Summerwill, who was interested in political science, is from Campton Hills, Illinois. Prosecutors allege that alcohol impairment made his belief that his mother was an intruder “not reasonable.”
His defense attorney countered in The Chicago Tribune that the death of Mary B. Summerwill was a “horrible accident.” Thomas Summerwill might have had jet lag because he’d recently returned from a spring break trip to Europe, the lawyer said, according to The Daily Herald.
While at UW-Madison, Summerwill was a student leader. He wrote on Facebook and LinkedIn that he interned for a prominent state Senator, Lena Taylor, focusing on “prison and judicial reform in the state of Wisconsin.” He was involved in student government, serving as the Chief Justice of the Student Judiciary, his LinkedIn page says. It also says that he interned for a Madison, Wisconsin mayoral candidate, Mo Cheeks, and served as a summer law clerk for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Summerwill is a graduate of St. Charles North High School.
Thomas Summerwill Biography, Career
Thomas Summerwill also served a summer law clerkship with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office through the Badger Reach Fellowship, he wrote on social media.
In July 2017, he wrote, “Just finished my summer law clerkship with the Felony Trial Division in the Cook County State Attorney’s Office and couldn’t ask for a better experience! Huge thanks to my Assistant State Attorneys for teaching me so much about the Judicial system and the daily functions of criminal law! Special thanks to the Badger Reach Fellowship and the University of Wisconsin for the opportunity to pursue this incredible experience and for allowing me to continue my passion for justice and law!”
He is indeed listed as a Badger Reach Fellow on the UW-Madison website. That page says he’s from Chicago and was studying political science and history. It lists his internship as “State Attorney’s Office Cook Co., Felony Trial Division.”
The UW-Madison website also contains a copy of his 2017 “final impact report” for the Badger Reach Fellowship.
“Given the severity of the cases we were prosecuting, it was incredibly interesting to watch my attorneys litigate, make agreements, talk to witnesses, and the relationships they had with the judge, court officials, and the defense attorneys,” he wrote. “… No one case is the exact same and each day presented the opportunity to facilitate law, justice, security, and order to a city that has long been wracked by violence, drugs, gang activities, and murder.”
— The Herald-News (@Joliet_HN) May 14, 2019
He added: “Coming from a Chicagoland suburb I never faced many of the issues that I witnessed every day while being a law clerk. To say the least the town I grew up in is a ‘bubble wrapped’ town with low violence and a wealthy population that isn’t challenged by widespread unemployment, violence, gangs.” He also noted, “…I came to recognize some of the minor malpractices in the Chicago Police Department.” You can read his PowerPoint presentation on the experience here.
Thomas Summerwill Killed his Mother
Currently, he charged with second-degree murder in the March 24 beating death of 53-year-old Mary Summerwill. Later, his attorney Liam Dixon said that he is “devastated” and his defense attorney countered in The Chicago Tribune that the death of Mary B. Summerwill was a “horrible accident.”
According to her attorney, he was Jet lagged because he returned recently from Europe Spring break. On March 24, 2019, he was sleeping and waked up and thought his mother as an intruder in his bedroom.
Man charged with murder after striking mother with baseball bat: Thomas Summerwill allegedly beat his mother, Mary, with a baseball bat after mistaking her for an intruder in his home. https://t.co/RyNWXMhIP9
— Kona Nature Tours (@KonaNatureTours) May 15, 2019
Kane County State’s Attorney stated that “Acting in what he believed was the defense of himself or his property, Summerwill grabbed a baseball bat and struck the person multiple times in the head with the bat, not realizing the person was his mother, Mary Summerwill, who died as a result of the blunt force trauma”. Additionally, Attorney told that it was an accident.
However, Summerville was a student leader at UW-Madison and according to his Facebook profile, he was also an Intern for a prominent state Senator, Lena Taylor. Later, he was involved in student government, serving as the Chief Justice of the Student Judiciary.
Mary Bridget Summerwill Was Called Her ‘the Best Mom in the World’
In 2015, Summerwill shared a photo of himself with his mother on Facebook and wrote, “Happy Mother’s Day to the best Mom in the world! Thank you for everything you have done over the years! You have been there with me in every high and low throughout my life and I love you with all my heart. Hope you had an amazing day!”
His mom responded: “Oh Tommy, thank you my dear. I am the luckiest gal in the world to have you as a son! Love you!”
Her obituary says that Mary Bridget Summerwill, of St. Charles, Illinois, “passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, March 24, 2019, in St. Charles, Ill.” She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, “graduated from Marquette University and followed a career in personal banking in Chicago, where she met her husband of over 26 years, Jeffrey Summerwill.”
The obituary notes that “Bridget and Jeff have two sons, Thomas (21)” and a 19-year-old. “The family of four have lived in St. Charles since 1999.” It describes her as an “intelligent, bubbly and beautiful woman who always made others feel valued and whose presence always would light up the room. She loved her sons with all her heart, and was a support system for so many people.”
According to the Kane County State’s Attorney, Thomas Summerwill surrendered May 13, 2019, to Campton Hills police, and appeared on May 14 in Kane County bond court.
Associate Judge Keith Johnson “set his bail at $300,000 with 10 percent ($30,000) to apply for a bond. Judge Johnson set Summerwill’s next court appearance for 9 a.m. May 23, 2019, in Courtroom 313 at the Kane County Judicial Center,” the Kane County press release said.
“Thanks to Campton Hills Police Chief Steve Millar and his team, as well as the Kane County Major Crimes Task Force, for their work in this investigation,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said.
10 Fast Facts You Need to Know
- Thomas J Summerwill, 21, is charged with two counts of second-degree murder
- Authorities say he believed he was acting in self-defense when he beat Mary Summerwill to death at the family’s home in Campton Hills, Illinois, on March 24
- The defendant claims he was startled awake and thought his mother was an intruder when the 53-year-old entered his second-floor bedroom
- Prosecutors say his belief ‘wasn’t reasonable because of his alcohol impairment’
- Summerwill’s attorney Liam Dixon has said that even if alcohol played a role, ‘I don’t know that that changes his reasoning’
- Dixon said his client is ‘devastated’ and he had a great relationship with his mom
- ‘Whatever the state does to him will pale in comparison to what’s already happened,’ the attorney said
- A Kane County judge set Summerwill’s bond at $300,000 on Tuesday
- The 21-year-old, who just finished his junior year at University of Wisconsin-Madison, was released after posting 10 percent of his bond
Thomas J. Summerwill of Campton Hills is charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the death of 53-year-old Mary Summerwill.https://t.co/uoghhPlN3L
— TribLIVE.com (@TribLIVE) May 15, 2019