State: no facility to place Steele - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

State: no facility to place Steele

Andrew Steele Andrew Steele

A state official says there is no health care facility willing or able at this time to accept to Andrew Steele, a former Dane County Sheriff's deputy who killed his wife and sister-in-law, but was found by a jury to be not responsible for the acts because of mental disease.

Steele is at Mendota Mental Health facility, but has been approved for conditional release.  Steele suffers from ALS, a terminal, neuromuscular disease.

During a Dane County court hearing Friday, Department of Health Services unit of community forensics official Beth Dodsworth said more than 40 health care facilities in the state have been contacted about the placement of Steele.  She said the complicated nature of Steele's care, waiting lists for Medicaid patients and the high-profile nature of Steele's actions have been cited as reasons for declining to accept Steele.

Judge Nicholas McNamara directed Dodsworth to continue to try to find an appropriate health care facility to place Steele.  Steele's attorney says he no longer wishes to be placed on a ventilator if breathing problems worsen, expanding the number of suitable facilities for placement.

Attorney Nick Gansner says Steele's condition is "stable," but notes the progressively disabling nature of the disease.   Steele chose not to attend Friday's hearing. 

In August 2014, Steele strangled and fatally shot his wife Ashlee Steele, and fatally-shot his sister-in-law Kacee Tollefsbol.  Earlier in the year, Steele left active duty with the Sheriff's office because of his disease.

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