Robert Lyons wanted to see an upcoming Avril Lavigne concert so badly he flew into a rage when his mother refused to call a friend to arrange skybox tickets for him.
That anger prompted Lyons, now 39, to brutally beat and stab Linda Bolek to death in the kitchen of the Carol Stream condo they shared, DuPage County prosecutors argued Wednesday as his murder trial opened.
Bolek died on March 14, 2008, after her son twice slammed a bottle of cognac into her head, then stabbed her nine times in the back – an attack so violent the knife blade snapped off in her body, prosecutors contended.
“This defendant was so angry with his mother that he bludgeoned and repeatedly stabbed her in a fit of rage,” Assistant State’s Attorney Ann Celine O’Hallaren said.
After killing his 61-year-old mother, Lyons poured several household chemicals on her body, then changed clothes and went shopping at several stores, O’Hallaren said. He was arrested hours later hanging out at a Hooters restaurant in Schaumburg, she said.
Defense attorneys didn’t dispute Lyons — who has a history of bi-polar disorder — was responsible for Bolek’s death, but suggested he didn’t intentionally kill her.
Lyons and his mother had a troubled, turbulent relationship since he had moved in with her a year earlier, Assistant Public Defender Valerie Pacis said, contending that Bolek before she was killed held a kitchen knife to her son’s face during a loud, profanity-laced argument.
“She threatened to stab him in the eye, Rob Lyons reacted,” Pacis said. “That reaction was not intended, that reaction was not planned.”
Lyons is expected to testify in his own defense during the trial, defense attorneys said.
While acknowledging Lyons has mental health problems, O’Hallaren insisted he murdered his mother on a day she stayed home sick from work simply because he was mad at her for refusing to help him get his concert tickets.
Before his arrest, Lyons called several people — including Stan Matusiak, Bolek’s long-time boyfriend — and told them he had struggled with his mother after she attacked him with a kitchen knife during an argument.
Matusiak testified he warned Lyons to leave Bolek alone, but didn’t immediately call police because he didn’t think Lyons would harm his mother.
“I didn’t believe him. I didn’t believe anything he said,” Matusiak said.
O’Hallaren scoffed at Lyons’ claim that he was attacked by Bolek, but “blocked” her attempt to stab him.
“He blocked the knife — and somehow the knife ended up in her back,” O’Hallaren derisively told jurors.