MADISON (WKOW) -- A man who authorities say was the target of a murder plot tells 27 News he disregarded a text message about the planned killing last November.
21-year old Max Dukerschein of Monona, tells 27 News his friend, Andrew Meis texted him to tell him he was considering killing Dukerschein. Dukerschein tells 27 News Meis was going through "a bad patch" with his employment and schooling, so Dukerschein was not alarmed by the text. Dukerschein says Meis had not been violent in the past.
"I actually didn't think he was too serious," Dukerschein tells 27 News. "He's my friend Andy...I thought he was just joking. But once I found out he actually bought a gun, that was the kind of scary part."
Meis appeared in Dane County court Wednesday on two charges of attempted first degree intentional homicide, with one of the charges related to what authorities say was his plot to kill Dukerschein. A criminal complaint states the 20-year old Meis purchased an AK-47 in December and had more than nine hundred rounds of ammunition. The complaint states Meis was admitted for a psychiatric hospitalization this month, and a staff member alerted authorities to his plot.
A court commissioner set Meis' bail at $200,000. The commissioner referred Meis for a competency evaluation at Mendota Mental Health Institute to determine if Meis' mental health state permits him to face criminal charges. The complaint states Meis' father told authorities Meis has been diagnosed as being a paranoid delusional schizophrenic.
Dukerschein tells 27 News Meis was introverted, but very intelligent during their time as students at Monona Grove High School.
Dukerschein says he only learned Meis had acquired an assault rifle from a police detective.
The complaint states Meis told authorities he believed Dukerschein was trying to plunge Meis into a psychotic state. Court documents state Meis also planned to target Dukerschein's family.
The complaint states one of Meis' neighbors, Gurtie Randle, contacted Madison police officers Dec. 17 and said someone had knocked on her door with what she thought she recognized as a long gun as she looked through a peephole. The complaint states Randle reported the man complained she was making too much noise and warned her not to force him to come up to her apartment again. The complaint identifies Randle as another murder target. Court documents state Meis targeted neighbors because he believed they were reading his thoughts through his television.
Meis' attorney, Amanda Hall concedes Meis had the assault rifle, but says there was no murder plot.
Hall says a precedent was set when Meis was ultimately arrested, after agreeing to submit to mental health care.
"The people who may be suffering from some of the same or similar challenges as this young man was, if they know this is what they're going to get in thanks for reaching out for the help they need, how likely is it that they're going to reach out?"
At Meis' next scheduled court appearance Feb. 8, the results of his competency examination will be considered.
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