21-Year-Old College Student Accidentally Beats Mom to Death



A man has been arrested after accidentally beating his mother to death.

Thomas W. Summerwill was home on spring break from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Chicago Tribune reported. In the early hours of March 24 he was in his room when his mother walked in, police say. The 21-year-old allegedly grabbed an autographed memorabilia baseball bat that was hanging in his room and beat his mother to death with it.

“The allegations are that he was essentially startled awake, believing there was an intruder in his room,” said defense attorney Liam Dixon, via the Chicago Tribune. “It was a freak accident and a tragic, horrible story all the way around.”


The tragedy occurred at the family’s $500,000 home in Campton Hills, Illinois.

As for why Summerwill felt it necessary to spring into violent action, leading to the death of his 53-year-old mother, prosecutors say he was drunk.

Summerwill’s attorney also brings up jet lag as a possible cause that led to an error in judgement. Summerwill had recently come back from a trip to Ireland and other parts of Europe.

Kane County prosecutors charged Summerwill with second-degree murder.

Dixon said that there was no antagonism between mother and son.

“They had an excellent relationship,” Dixon told the Chicago Tribune. “I wouldn’t even call it a typical relationship, I would say it’s very loving. She adored him.”

Summer will and his father called 911 from the home the same morning after the tragedy, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Summerwill’s mother died at the hospital soon after from cranial injuries, according to the Daily Mail.



Summerwill posted $30,000 bond on May 14. His next court date is set for May 23, the Chicago Tribune reported. If convicted, he faces a minimum of probation to a maximum of 20 years in prison.