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La Crosse man trying to win release from state mental institution

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A La Crosse man is trying to win back his freedom, after he was committed to a state mental institution for stabbing a police officer seven years ago.

30-year-old Joseph Smith will undergo a series of psychiatric tests. The results will be given to a judge in La Crosse who will consider Smith’s latest petition for release.

It’s the sixth time he’s made such a request.

Smith was released in 2010 from the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison, but he was returned four months later – and officials said he beat up a psychiatric technician after he came back.

Smith was first arrested in 2006, after he attacked La Crosse officer Jon Wegner with a screwdriver during a traffic stop. The officer responded by shooting Smith twice.

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