Mental treatment ordered for man in slashing incident

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Kevin Hoffman
Friday, September 30, 2011
— Nathan Kropp could undergo up to 50 years of treatment for a mental illness after a Rock County judge agreed Thursday it caused him to attack his girlfriend and 4-year-old daughter with a knife.

Kropp, 30, of Baraboo admitted to the charges but was found not guilty by reason of mental disease. Judge James Daley ordered him to face the maximum sentence on each of his two first-degree reckless injury charges.

Defendants found to have committed a crime by reason of mental illness can be ordered to serve the maximum penalty at a mental health facility instead of prison. Kropp can petition for release after six months.

Kropp, his girlfriend and their daughter were staying at a friend's house Aug. 7, at 162 Cherry St. on their way to Chicago, according to court records.

Kropp's girlfriend told police she woke to find Kropp coming toward her with a knife. He slashed at her neck, and as she wrestled with him Kropp reached over and was able to cut the child.

Kropp also cut his own throat, according to court records. None of the cuts were life threatening, but Kropp and his daughter required surgery.

Kropp's girlfriend told police she believed he said, "I can't kill myself. I can't kill my family. That's not the right thing to do. Stop telling me to do this," according to the criminal complaint.

Kropp admitted to drinking a bottle of alcohol that night, according to court records. He also said he was under a lot of stress and had not slept in four days.

Kropp underwent a mental evaluation after his arrest at Winnebago Mental Health Institute near Oshkosh. The report was referenced during Thursday's hearing, but details of its findings were not discussed.

Kropp previously told investigators he started hearing voices telling him to kill himself and his family before they were tortured. Police said he thought the voices were evil thoughts of people in the neighborhood.

Defense attorney Jack Hoag said Kropp is competent, but only because he's taking his medication. Hoag said Kropp, who rarely spoke during the hearing, expressed a desire to receive treatment for his disease.

Kropp's competency was important in determining whether he would stand trial. To find him not guilty by reason of mental illness showed the court believed he was mentally unstable when he committed the crime.

Kropp's girlfriend attended Thursday's hearing but did not speak.

Last updated: 6:14 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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