A convicted killer who was given his conditional release from a mental ward will stay institutionalized for now. Rock County Circuit Judge Michael Byron has approved the state's plan to keep Mark Staskal at the Mendota mental health facility in Madison. And in the meantime, the state's Health and Human Services Department will keep looking for a more home-like setting for Staskal. He was found innocent-by-insanity in the 1984 slaying of his 16-year-old sister Marcy at their family's home in Milton.
Staskal spent years at Mendota until Judge Byron ordered his conditional release a year ago. He spent time at a halfway house in Eau Claire, and was supposed to be placed in Dane County. But community pressure and the opposition by Staskal's parents to a release have landed him back in an institution. Staskal can petition for a release every six months.