Governor urges review of mental health commitment standard - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Governor urges review of mental health commitment standard


MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Walker Friday urged review of the standards for involuntary mental health commitments, in the wake of a Milwaukee man's alleged killings of three senior citizens in Lafayette County.

In published reports, the parents of suspect Jaren Kuester said they appealed to Waukesha County officials in the days before the homicides to institutionalize their son over his unchecked mental illness. According to the reports, Waukesha County officials determined Kuester was not considered a danger himself and others, and thus failed to meet the criteria for involuntary commitment.

"Examples like this really raise the question, of quite possibly, should we reexamine whether or not it should be easier to take someone who we now know had serious mental illness and find an easier way to require them to get some sort of assistance before they do something as tragic as this," Walker said after a military recognition event in Madison.

Authorities say Kuester drove from Waukesha to rural Green County, abandoned his SUV, stripped off his clothes and hiked to nearby Lafayette County, breaking into a home and using a fireplace poker to kill the victims, who he did not know.


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