Davis not competent to stand trial

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011
— A Janesville man likely will be found not guilty by reason of mental defect in a July 12 homicide in downtown Janesville.

William A. Davis first must be found competent to stand trial, something doctors think could happen, District Attorney David O'Leary said.

The prosecution and defense on Monday agreed with mental health specialists who testified that Davis, 54, of 31 S. Main St., Apt. C, Janesville, is not competent to stand trial. Davis is accused of stabbing and killing his neighbor, Joseph Hanson, in Hanson's apartment in July.

He is charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide and remains in custody at Mendota Mental Health Facility.

Judge James Daley on Monday ordered Davis to remain in Mendota for at least one year of treatment. During that time, Davis' condition will be evaluated every three months. If during the first year of treatment doctors think Davis is competent to stand trial, another competency hearing will be scheduled.

If Davis is found competent, he likely would plead not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, O'Leary said after Monday's hearing. Doctors believe Davis was experiencing a schizophrenic episode when he stabbed Hanson, O'Leary said.

If Davis is not found competent to stand trial after one year, he could remain in custody under Wisconsin's mental health law rather than under criminal charges, O'Leary said.

Davis' neighbor called 911 at 10:23 p.m. July 12 and reported hearing stomping and screaming in upstairs apartments at 31 S. Main St., according to the criminal complaint. When police arrived, Davis charged naked from his apartment. Officers shot him with Tasers to stop him, according to the complaint.

Later, the neighbor found Hanson dead in Hanson's apartment and called police again.

Police saw about 15 stab wounds in Hanson's body.

Last updated: 6:39 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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