The Joliet drifter charged with the brutal beating death of a burial vault manufacturing company employee is to be arraigned in Will County court this morning.
Michael Eberle, 42, faces charges of first-degree murder, residential burglary, burglary, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. If convicted, he faces at least 20 to 60 years in prison.
Eberle was arrested after he went on a Sunday morning crime-spree in and around late last month, according to police who have labeled the local man a "drifter."
Eberle allegedly capped off his morning of mayhem by breaking into the office of , a burial vault manufacturer, and beating to death 69-year-old employee Patrick Shaughnessy.
Prosecutors said a crowbar and fire extinguisher, both covered with blood, were found close to Shaughnessy's broken body. The police tracked down and caught Eberle soon after. He was hiding in the weeds nearby, police said.
The day after Shaughnessy's death, Judge Marzell Richardson set Eberle's bond at $5 million.
While Eberle was homeless at the time Shaughnessy was killed, he had been living with the mother of his 14-year-old daughter until March 16 — nine days before the slaying.
The woman Eberle was living with, Karen Trajkovich, had obtained a court order to keep him away from her and her home. Trajkovich sought the court order after Eberle alarmed her while allegedly in the throes of a drug-induced delirium.
Trajkovich said in her petition for the order that Eberle "tore apart my entire garage because he thought everything was burning. He broke or threw away or threw water on my shovels, gardening tools, books, food, my bike, skateboards, etc. ... When I asked him to stop, he got agitated and got in my face because I wouldn't believe that everything is burning."
The episode was brought on because Eberle has "a history of substance abuse," Trajkovich claimed. "Currently I believe he is abusing bath salts that are making him irrational, paranoid and delusional."