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Suspect In Riley Fox Murder Ruled Fit To Stand Trial

JOLIET (CBS) -- The man authorities say murdered Riley Fox is mentally fit to stand trial.

Judge Richard Schoenstedt has reviewed Scott W. Eby's psychiatric report over the last week and announced his ruling in court Tuesday.

Eby, 39, faces charges of murder and sexual assault for allegedly snatching the 3-year-old girl from her Wilmington home on June 6, 2004. Her body was found later that day in nearby Forked Creek.

Riley's father, Kevin Fox, was later arrested for the crime and spent eight months in jail before DNA found on the girl's body did not match his.

While Eby lived near the Foxes at the time, he was not suspected until May when an FBI review linked him with forensic evidence. Eby is serving a 14-year prison sentence for raping a relative a year after Riley's murder.

Assistant Will County State's Attorney Michael Fitzgerald and attorney Michael Renzi, who is representing Eby on behalf of the public defender's office, agreed Dr. Randi Zoot was qualified to evaluate Eby and submitted an adequate report.

"The defendant demonstrates an adequate understanding of the charges against him and … has the ability to cooperate with his attorney," Schoenstedt said.

As commonly happens in criminal cases, Zoot's report was not released to the public.

Eby was led into the courtroom with two other inmates from the Department of Corrections and squinted several times as his eyes adjusted to the dimmer lighting conditions. The suspect slunk back in a chair in the jury box and yawned several times as he tapped his thumbs together on his lap.

Schoenstedt announced Eby, who has a scar on his head sources said is the result of brain surgery, would be brought back to court Nov. 10.

Outside the courtroom, Riley's mother, Melissa Fox said she had not been concerned Eby would be found fit to stand trial.

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