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Jurors consider man's release from mental facility

A jury in western Wisconsin is expected to decide Feb. 15 whether a man should be freed after spending 25 years in a mental institution for killing four people.

Alvin Taylor, 65, petitioned for his release from the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison. Dunn County District Attorney James Peterson urged jurors yesterday to re-commit him, saying the brutal nature of the crimes must be considered.

Taylor's attorney said his client no longer takes medication, and he's never had a violent outburst while he's been institutionalized. Taylor was found innocent by reason of insanity for the killings of Timothy Hayden of Menomonie, James Severson and Robert Williams of Eau Claire, and Daniel Lundgren of Esko Minnesota.

The killings occurred between 1985-and-'87. Taylor had claimed to be a "soldier of God" who received radio and TV messages to kill his victims.