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Staskal could go to Eau Claire home

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Mike DuPre'
October 10, 2007

An adult group home in Eau Claire is willing to house Mark Staskal, who killed his sister, Marcy, in 1984 but was found not guilty by reason of mental disease.


Staskal, 44, formerly of Milton, has been living in Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison since his trial.


Rock County Judge Michael Byron on Tuesday scheduled a hearing for Oct. 31 to determine if the group home and treatment plan for Staskal are appropriate.


In January, Byron ruled that the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services must develop a treatment plan for Staskal, the first step toward his conditional release.


Byron reversed years of decisions to keep Staskal in Mendota.


Staskalís parents, Redgie and Melly Staskal of Milton, donít think their son should be released from what they see as the safe, secure and structured environment of Mendota, where mental health professionals manage his medication and therapy.


They fear he will kill again if released into the community.


The state hired Lutheran Social Services to find an appropriate home for Staskal. In April, the agency reported that six community-based residential facilities would not accept Staskal.


Three of the facilities were in Rock County. The other three were close.


Four of the group homes said Staskal presented too great a liability risk, and two said they could not provide the intensive supervision, structure and/or treatment that mental health professionals think Staskal needs.


Byron then authorized Lutheran Social Services to search statewide for a proper placement for Staskal.


Staskalís attorney, Phillip Brehm of Janesville, sought to keep the location under wraps because, he said, ďThe sub-issue floating around here is Ö (people) undermining the placement of my client.Ē


Assistant district attorney Ray Jablonski, who argued the stateís case to keep Staskal at Mendota, said he needed to know the location so his office could send its investigator to check the facility out.


Byron ordered attorneys in the case not to release the name and location of the group home, but The Janesville Gazette learned before the hearing that the home proposed for Staskal is in Eau Claire.


The judge allowed a reporter for the newspaper to read the treatment plan proposed for Staskal. Its provisions include that Staskal:


-- Must live in a community-based residential facility as long as deemed appropriate by his state-assigned agent and Lutheran Social Services case manager. The facility will provide medication monitoring, transportation to and from all of Staskalís appointments and supervision of him 24/7.


-- Must take all his prescribed medication and cooperate with all recommended psychiatric treatment. He must cooperate with all vocational, treatment, educational and training programs.


-- Is barred from drinking alcohol, using illegal drugs or owning guns. The firearm ban continues for life. He may not possess any other weapons as defined by his agent.


-- Must cooperate with electronic monitoring. He would be barred from traveling outside Wisconsin and would need permission to travel out of the county where he is living.



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