Police: 21-Year-Old Woodridge Man Murdered Father With Weed Trimmer

Yashesh S. Desai of 3 Plover Court has been arrested in connection with the death of his father, Sanjiv J. Desai, police said.

Updated: 5:45 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15

A judge granted the state's motion for an appointment of a clinical psychologist in Monday's bond court hearing for the Woodridge man whom police say killed his father with a weed trimmer.

Yashesh S. Desai, 21, of 3 Plover Court, Woodridge, has been charged with first-degree murder. Desai's bond was set at $2 million during Monday's hearing, said DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin.

Berlin said Yashesh Desai talked about Godzilla, X and Y chromosomes and "killing the retards" in statements to police. Those statements led authorities to file a motion for an appointment of a clinical psychologist.

"We have reasonable belief he will raise the defense of insanity or plead guilty and mentally ill," Berlin said.

A clinical psychologist will deem whether Yashesh Desai is fit for trial. A status check date will be held Aug. 22, scheduled to be followed by his arraignment at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 12.

 responded to the scene around 3:07 a.m. Sunday morning after a person had called 911 stating that his brother had just killed their father, according to a release from the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office.

Police found Sanjiv J. Desai lying on a futon in the computer room of his house, the release said.

"Desai was suffering from massive head wounds. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead as a result of the injuries he sustained," the release said.

Sanjiv Desai was allegedly sleeping on a futon in the computer room of his home when Yashesh Desai struck him multiple times in the head with a weed trimmer, the release said. That resulted in severe trauma to Sanjiv Desai’s head.

Woodridge police arrested Yashesh Desai at the scene of the incident.

“Yesterday, Sanjiv Desai’s life was tragically taken from him, allegedly by his own son,” Berlin said Monday in the release. “I would like to thank the Woodridge Police Department for their quick apprehension of Mr. Desai. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorney Helen Kapas for her efforts on this case."

First-degree murder carries a minimum sentence of 20 to 60 years in jail. Desai is scheduled to appear in bond court at 4 p.m. Monday.

Just hours before police found Sanjiv Desai dead, a Facebook user registered as Yashesh Sanjiv Desai published dozens of comments on his page, including a list of weapons he said he needed and another post in which he said he'd "lost faith in humanity."

He posted close to 40 statuses in as many minutes between around 4:40 p.m. and 5:20 p.m.

According to Facebook, he graduated from and studies chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

Neighbors along Plover Court said the Desai family was a friendly neighbor and said it was an "unfortunate thing."

Richard Barker, 15, used to play basketball with Yashesh and Yashesh's younger brother. He said they were "nice, friendly and normal."

Barker said he was awake around 3 a.m. Saturday when he heard "get down on the ground" yelled outside. He saw Yashesh being brought out in handcuffs and his father being brought out on a stretcher.

For those reading this outside of the Chicago area, Woodridge is a southwest suburb of Chicago.

Suzanna Klein August 15, 2011 at 07:06 PM
How tragic, and even more terrible that there is no mention of Yashesh's history of schizophrenia at all. How sad that mental illness is still being swept under the rug and shunned.
Melissa Sersland (Editor) August 15, 2011 at 08:02 PM
Suzanna: Officials haven't released any information as to how mental issues could have played a role in the incident. We're looking into it and will update the story with any additional information that becomes available.
Stephanie August 15, 2011 at 10:17 PM
I think calling him a terrorist is completely unnecessary. He (possibly) killed his father, he didn't bomb a shopping mall. The comments on here disgust me. Stop your racism. It's stupid. I'd go for a more intellectual word, but I doubt you'd know what it means.
Joanna August 15, 2011 at 11:36 PM
Parents killing their kids and kids killing their parents. What a world. I guess I'm not to bright because, the more of this I see, the less I understand it.
Danny August 16, 2011 at 12:16 AM
I live by their house, i knew Yashesh's brother,my Brother goes/went to the same school as them and Yashesh's brother was my "Buddy" in first grade. I know their family and when i heard about this it was a shock
marie August 16, 2011 at 01:22 AM
Don't you know we live in the end times? And no I am not a fanatic.
Heather Kaufman August 16, 2011 at 01:59 AM
Thank you for addressing this...I grew up with Yash and he is a bright and normal person, but he was always on medication. It is tragic that it lead to this. My heart goes out to the family members and I hope Yash receives the help he needs.
Sarah G. Davis August 16, 2011 at 03:21 AM
So very sad and tragic - my thoughts and prayers go out to their family.
colleen August 16, 2011 at 04:28 AM
I don't think you can automatically leap to schizophrenia. There are other mental disorders that could explain his actions.
cody August 16, 2011 at 04:40 AM
he needs to be put in a state facility in order to get the help he needs
Gorgeous Sexxee Mee August 16, 2011 at 04:46 AM
Apparently something just snapped in this guys head. From what the story says, there was no mention of a history of mental illness. So damn scary the things that are happening. I don't get it! Too many weapons, drugs, abuse, etc.....and yet, nothing is being done about it. Terribly sad story for the family. They have lost 2 loved ones....not just the one who was killed. The way most go to an MD for an annual physical....maybe there should be a mandated mental one as well.
Suzanna Klein August 16, 2011 at 12:57 PM
People who know him know his history; Nobody is jumping to conclusions. The story will be forgotten by the public reader, especially you who jump to conclusions without knowing anything more than a short article, by time Yash stands trial. But those personally touched by the story will forever carry it in our hearts. I will continue to pray for Yash, and for his family and friends. There is little else anyone can do
Vish August 16, 2011 at 03:00 PM
Man, I used to play ball with this kid over at Meadowview. There was nothing wrong with him. You know what made him "snap"? The meds he started taking for his supposed "mental illness." That's what made him insane: your wonderful pharmaceuticals and all that "help" to make Yash "normal." But we will never hear a word about it. Put the psychs and the pharmaceutical companies on trial, make them responsible to someone. This country is in a gutter it will never crawl back out of!
Carl August 16, 2011 at 04:54 PM
Does anyone have information about services, even if private? I didn't know the family, but this is so close to home that it struck such sadness in me. I would like to show support for them during this horrid experience.
Melissa Sersland (Editor) August 16, 2011 at 05:10 PM
I haven't heard anything yet about services, but I let you know if I do.
Sara Caldwell August 16, 2011 at 06:46 PM
Yash, likely, is not the first kid to resort to this type behavior. From personal experience, there are 'looney' MD's out there who are 'trying out'/experimenting to see 'what works'. Has anyone EVER heard of 'counseling sessions', MOST ESPECIALLY, with kids/young people, who just need SOMEONE to 'just sit and listen to them re their situations'! Poor Yash! SOMEONE close to that family needs to contact the Governor's office and find out about 'The State Board of Medical Examinors" , and request an investigation of this MD's rationale!
Suzanna Klein August 16, 2011 at 07:47 PM
To base your assessment on an experience years ago is an unfortunately sign that you are not familiar with the onset of such an illness, which usually begins in the teen years or young adulthood, yet you believe you can speak as an authority against neccesary medications. I don't fault your ignorance; I fault our society for keeping mental illness a taboo subject. "Could've, would've, should've" blame is easy in hind sight. Let's be sure we keep it in perspective, and not place blame where it shouldn't be, especially with friends and family.
Brandon Broholm August 17, 2011 at 07:14 AM
I know Yashesh personally. I know the family personally. I've hung out with Yashesh, his brother, and some other friends at their house on more than a few occasions just over a year ago. This is indeed a tragedy for the Desai family, for their friends, and for the community. From my personal accounts-Yash is on medication for schizophrenia and he was a normal kid having a good time with his friends every time I was with him. He had a healthy relationship with his family by my observations. Keep in mind this was over a year ago. I added him on Facebook a week or two ago and I did notice a large volume of dark all caps statuses including the losing all faith in humanity one mentioned above. Another one I remember was about a call to 22 million soldiers or something along the lines of that. I didn't think much about it. Possibly just a rant about something he's pissed about. We all do that. When I received the news yesterday that he had killed his father on the futon in the computer room with a weed whacker, I could only think very vivid thoughts on how it happened. I know the layout of the house, I know the futon, and I know the computer room it's in. It all seemed surreal because I know the scene so well. I was quite shook up. Then I remembered that Yash is schizophrenic and everything clicked.
Brandon Broholm August 17, 2011 at 07:15 AM
A very possible scenario is that Yash went off his medication for a prolonged stretch of time and his schizophrenic outbursts took over during that time culminating in the murder. I am just a very shaken friend of Yash, the Desai family, and the community trying to clear up any thoughts on this very tragic incident. My prayers are with Yashesh and his family. May his trial be speedy and just.
Suzanna Klein August 17, 2011 at 12:59 PM
Brandon, thanks for sharing your personal story. I hope your positive memories of Yash bring you peace of mind, and the power of the prayers keep you strong.
wanda underwood August 17, 2011 at 01:08 PM
My heart goes out to the family and friends of this young man. I too was unaware that schizophrenia usually manifests itself during the very stressful late teens - early 20s, at just about the time we send them off to school. If we can take anything away from this let's educate ourselves about this condition and how we can help. As illustrated in "It's a Wonderful Life" this young man and his family had no idea how many lives they touched
Colleen August 17, 2011 at 08:22 PM
I am one of Yash's former high school teachers, and I am shocked and saddened by this story. I have read so many hateful comments, but I can only remember the smiling Yash that was in my class just a few years ago. He was always kind to me, and to the other students in the class. When I tell people that I knew him, they ask, "Were you ever scared?" or "Was he violent?" The answer to both questions is a resounding NO. This is a terrible tragedgy, and my thoughts and prayers go out to the family.
Teri Faklaris August 18, 2011 at 03:29 AM
I am very shocked and saddened by this whole thing. I do not know Yash personally and I am not judging him because only God has that right to judge him. But I did know Sanjiv & worked with him closely for the past 2 years. The whole situation is just so so sad. I understand the fact that people who know Yash will defend him, but what did Sanjiv do that could possibly have resulted in such a tragic, horrific, violent murder. He was the nicest man I knew. Always a kind word, a smile on his face. Imagine his poor wife now without her husband and she has no idea what her son is going to face. Just awful. They are all in my prayers.


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