A teenager charged with stealing items the Elkhorn Lions Club had collected for the homeless could be considered competent if he completes an outpatient program, a Walworth County judge ruled Friday.
A doctor’s assessment said Zachary M. Dornbusch, 18, of Rockford, Illinois, was not currently competent enough to understand court proceedings and assist in his defense.
Judge Phillip Koss on Friday postponed court matters so Dornbusch could participate in an outpatient competency restoration program, court records show.
Dornbusch faces eight criminal charges, all as party to the crime of burglary, theft and criminal damage to property.
A doctor who testified Friday morning said Dornbusch was “extremely weak” in understanding various plea options. Although the teenager has below-average intelligence, he is not intellectually disabled, the doctor said.
Another teenager, Dillon L. Leonard, 17, of 204 N. Broad St., Elkhorn, was charged in connection with the Lions Club theft from the Walworth County Fairgrounds in June. He has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors accuse the teens of taking backpacks, gloves, cases of soda and other items that the Lions Club had collected for the homeless—all of which added up to $502, according to the criminal complaint.
Police also connected Dornbusch to a January 2017 break-in at the fair offices when he was 16. Damage to a broken window was estimated at about $505, according to the complaint. A stolen Amazon Echo was estimated at $180 and a stolen laptop at $200.
Dornbusch is scheduled for an adjourned initial appearance at 1:15 p.m. March 22.