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Feck denied release from institution

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- A jury denied a request to release a Portage County man from a mental institution. The six-person jury needed less than an hour to decide that 50-year-old Steven Feck should remain at the Mendota mental health facility.

In 1990, Feck was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. He killed his grandfather Elton Favell with a scissors in 1989.

Portage County District Attorney Louis Molepske, Jr. is pleased with the jury’s decision, saying Feck is too dangerous to himself and others to consider any kind of release at this time.  “The State is pleased that Mr. Feck will be recommitted to the custody of the Department of Health Services, and that custody will continue to provide him treatment, and also to provide him protection and the public protection from his level of dangerousness.”

Feck’s case happened before the law changed, so he has been through this process asking a jury for conditional release before. Molepske says the new law allows a judge to decide on conditional releases without a jury.

If Feck requests release in the future, he will still be covered under the old law allowing a jury.

Molepske says in a proceeding like this, both sides have specific things they have to show the court.  “He has to, through his counsel, provide the appropriate level of evidence that would constitute the requirements of a hearing, and the State of course has the obligation of showing that he continues to be a harm to himself and or the public, and because of that, he should not be released.”

The jury heard testimony from psychology expert Mary Kay Luzi, and examined evidence from both sides. They began deliberations at 1:40 p.m. and delivered a verdict back to Judge John Finn by 2:20 p.m.

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