Kyle Morgan, 29

Kyle Morgan, 29 (McHenry County Sheriff's photo / October 17, 2013)

A Woodstock man with a history of severe mental illness was sentenced to 30 years in prison this evening for the grisly murder of a homeless man in 2009.

Kyle Morgan, 29, who also battled drug and alcohol addiction for years, his father testified, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to first-degree murder in July for stabbing to death Robin A. Burton Jr., whose last known address was in Rockford.

Authorities called the crime scene inside Morgan’s apartment "gruesome," saying he has smeared blood along the walls and “desecrated” the body.

“The offense was accompanied by exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty,” according to the indictment against Morgan.

Morgan fled to Tennessee after the murder, and Burton’s body was found in his apartment at the Prairie View Apartments in the 300 block of Leah Lane by a maintenance worker.

In a McHenry County courtroom today, Morgan apologized to the victim’s family.

"I wish I could change the past," he said, adding he hopes that sharing his struggles with drugs and mental illness can help others.

“I hope I have the chance to thrive in a positive way," he said.

Forensic psychiatrists testified that Morgan suffers from bipolar disease and had been proscribed a drug that should not be used for that type of mental illness. Morgan himself said that, the day of the crime, he did not take the proper amounts of the drugs he’d been prescribed.

Morgan’s father, Dean Morgan, of Fontana, Wis., said his son had battled depression and substance abuse since he was a child. 

He said his son often cut and stabbed himself, and had attempted to kill himself at least eight times since he was 16.

Often choking back tears, Dean Morgan described how he had sent his son to several out-patient and in-patient rehabilitation programs over the years. 

He said when his son would come home from a rehab program he would be “an absolutely new person.”

“When sober, he was well-liked ... had motivation ... wanted to go to college,” the elder Morgan said.

But that would be short-lived and within two to three months his son would relapse.

triblocaltips@tribune.com
Twitter: @TribLocal