Man regains fitness to stand trial for 2016 murder of former Salem woman

JACKSON COUNTY — Despite constant disruptions during a mental fitness hearing Wednesday in Jackson County Court, a 28-year-old man accused of the 2016 murder of former Salem resident Robin Stief, was declared fit to stand trial.

Robert Dennis
(Source: Carbondale PD)

Robert Dennis was ultimately removed from the courtroom Wednesday after becoming loud and uncooperative and at one point walking out of the courtroom.

In 2017, defense attorneys raised a doubt as to Dennis’s mental fitness to stand trial. An evaluation was conducted and he was ultimately found fit to stand trial on the two first-degree murder charges and the Class 3 felony charge of concealing a homicidal death.

Following his removal from his trial, Dennis was again examined but was then found unfit and was remanded into the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services for treatment.

Two others, 27-year-old Lauren Stinde and 26-year-old Tiesha Anderson are currently serving 30 and 40 years in prison respectively for Stief’s murder and the burning of her body.

A pre-trial hearing in Dennis’ case is scheduled for June 3.