Hankel ruled not competent for trial in overdose case - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Hankel ruled not competent for trial in overdose case

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW)-- Malachi Hankel, the man accused of first degree reckless homicide in a heroin related death is ruled not fit for trial during a court appearance Wednesday afternoon. 

Hankel's hearing today was to see if he was able to stand trial. His attorneys said Hankel suffers from a bipolar disorder and Schizophrenia. They said the medication he has been prescribed alters his ability to think.

Due to that, Judge Todd Bjerke ruled that Hankel was not fit for trial.

The next step is a hearing at the end of May to see if he doing better. During the hearing, there was a discussion that Hankel's medication would be adjusted between now and the end of May. 

Last November, Judge Bjerke found probable cause for a trial for Hankel.  According to the criminal complaint, the 28-year-old Hankel provided heroin to Thomas Tremain in September, 2013. Tremain then died of an overdose at a Town of Barre home.  Investigators tracked down Hankel because of a note he'd left for Tremain.  The note stated that he (Hankel) had to leave to go home, but because Tremain was passed out, left ihs name and phone number because he wanted to make sure Tremain was okay.

Police later contacted Hankel after finding Tremain's body.  Hankel admitted to giving the heroin Tremain.

The reckless homicide charge carries a maximum 40 year sentence.

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