Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2013, 8:38 pm

Judge questions if EM man who allegedly stabbed girlfriend is fit to stand trial

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By Rachel Warmke, rwarmke@qconline.com

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Aaron Matthew Rowland, of East Moline, was charged with attempted murder, home invasion and aggravated battery in Rock Island County Circuit Court.
A judge is questioning whether Aaron Matthew Rowland is fit to stand trial, a month after he allegedly broke into the home of his girlfriend on Dec. 9 and stabbed her multiple times.

Mr. Rowland, 39, of East Moline, was arrested the same day and charged in Rock Island County Circuit Court with attempted murder, home invasion and aggravated battery.He has since remained in the Rock Island County Jail on a $200,000 bond, awaiting a Feb. 4 trial.

However, at a hearing on Friday, Judge Walter Braud ordered Dr. Kirk Witherspoon to evaluate Mr. Rowland and determine if he is fit to enter a plea or to stand trial.The doctor must submit a medical report to the court within 30 days, detailing his diagnosis and any evidence of mental or physical disability, records state.

If found incompetent, Mr. Rowland will be relinquished to the custody of a mental health facility until he is deemed fit to continue the case.

East Moline police were called to the 100 block of 41st Avenue, East Moline, after Kathleen J. Durbin, 47, called 911 about 8:40 a.m. claiming Mr. Rowland had stabbed her. A neighbor reported seeing Mr. Rowland flee the scene in a 1994 green Toyota truck, clutching something in his hand, records state.

Mr. Rowland is believed to have driven to the Milan home of a family member where he "abandoned" the vehicle in the driveway, the affidavit contends.A black-handled folding pocket knife was later discovered in the truck by police. A soiled towel and strands of hair also was found in the residence where the vehicle was parked and collected as evidence.