Man who stabbed officer petitions for release - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Man who stabbed officer petitions for release

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - A La Crosse man committed to a mental health institution after stabbing a police officer in 2006 is petitioning for his release.

It's the sixth time 30-year-old Joseph Smith has asked to be released from the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison. Smith will undergo psychiatric evaluations which will be presented at a hearing in La Crosse County Circuit Court at a later date. Online court records show a check on the status of the case is set for May 3.

In March, 2006, Smith attacked Officer Jon Wegner with a screwdriver during a traffic stop. Smith was shot twice by Officer Thad Baldwin during the attack.

Smith was later confined treatment at Mendota after being found not guilty due to his mental health issues on a charge of attempted first degree homicide in the attack.

The La Crosse Tribune says Smith was released from Mendota in 2010 but sent back after four months. He attacked a psychiatric technician following his return.


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