Wisconsin Deputy Found Not Guilty of Murder Due to ALS
MADISON, WI - (Wheeler News) Former Dane County sheriff's deputy Andrew Steele has been found not guilty by insanity in the shooting deaths of his wife and sister-in-law.
A jury in Madison deliberated for ten hours before reaching a decision around 1 a.m. Thursday. Jurors agreed with Steele's contention that the ALS he contracted last June damaged his brain, and was a factor in his decision to kill Ashlee Steele and her sister Kacee Tollefsbol of Lake Elmo, Minnesota two months later.
The jury's vote was not unanimous, and only ten votes were needed for a verdict in the sanity phase of the case. The vote was 10-2. The trial lasted a week and a half, and Steele did not testify. Prosecutors believed that the 40-year-old Steele planned the killings. Assistant DA Andrea Raymond read jurors a suicide note that Steele had on his phone. She said he wanted to "go out like a rock star."
Steele's lawyer, Jessa Nicholson, said the verdict sets a precedent about taking brain damage seriously. She said the justice system needs to look at how people are affected by neurological issues, instead of just traditional psychological concerns.
The next step in the case is to determine Steele's mental state, and the terms of his commitment to an institution.