Jurors in the double murder trial of a former Dane County sheriff’s deputy have reached a verdict, finding early this morning that 40-year-old Andrew Steele was not legally responsible for the shooting deaths of his wife and sister-in-law because of mental disease or defect.
The two women, 39-year-old Ashlee Steele and 38-year-old Kacee Tollefsbol of Lake Elmo, Minnesota, were found fatally shot last August at the Steele’s Fitchburg home. Andrew Steele suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as ALS, and had plead not guilty by reason of mental disease to first degree intentional homicide charges.
His defense attorneys had argued he was not legally responsible for the deaths because ALS had damaged his brain. Prosecutors claimed that Steele wrote down a plan to go out a “hero” by pretending to have sex with two beautiful women, instead of dying from his disease.
The 12 member jury deliberated the case for nearly ten hours, with only 10 out of 12 jurors supporting the verdict. A unanimous verdict was not required.
Steele will remain in the Rock County jail until a disposition hearing can be held. He faces a lifetime commitment with the state Department of Health Services.