Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement

Children upset that convicted killer being set free

Email

The children of two men killed in a La Crosse area church 23 years ago are not happy that the killer is being freed.

A state appeals court ruled Thursday that Bryan Stanley, 53, should be released from a state mental institution in Madison.

Advertisement

It's where he's been since a jury found him insane in the slayings of the Rev. John Rossiter, lay minister Ferdinand Roth, and custodian William Hammes at a Catholic Church in Onalaska in 1985.

Ferdinand Roth Jr. said Stanley should either stay at Mendota or be moved to a prison for taking three lives.

Hammes' daughter Rose says the state's mental commitment law is wrong and people should urge their legislators to change it.

La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke didn't buy the appeals court's claim that Stanley is no longer a risk to others.

Gruenke said the release might make sense from Stanley's perspective, but it's tragic to the victims' families.

The appellate court said Stanley found a way to manage his schizophrenia through medicines. But Roth says there's no guarantee Stanley will reliably take those medications and Stanley admitted that himself.

A judge in La Crosse is expected to hold a hearing in January to set conditions for the man's release.

Rose Hammes said she was told Stanley could see relatives in the La Crosse area at Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hammes prefers that Stanley live in the Madison area.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement