UPDATE: MADISON (WKOW)-- Andrew Steele is not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect a jury decided early Thursday morning.
Steele, a former Dane County deputy, admitted to killing his wife, Ashlee Steele and his sister-in-law Kacee Tollefsbol, at his Fitchburg home in August of 2014. However Steele suffers from the neurological condition ALS and his attorney's argued his actions were the result of the disease.
After more than 10 hours of deliberations, the decision came down just about 1:00 Thursday morning, that Andrew Steele is not guilty by reason mental disease or defect.
Steele showed no emotion as the judge read the jury's decision.
A panel of 12 jurors listened to days of testimony before deciding that ALS deteriorated Steele's mental capacity to the point where he was not legally responsible for his actions when he killed his wife and sister-in-law.
After the decision, Steele's attorney, Jessa Nicholson, said she's proud of the legal system.
“I think today does start to establish precedent that we need to take brain damage seriously and we need to look at the way people's functioning is effected by the neurological issues rather than just traditionally psychological issues,” Nicholson said.
Meanwhile Assistant District Attorney Paul Barnett said he respects the process but disagrees with this verdict.
“They obviously examined the evidence closely, carefully, I have no doubt about that,” Barnett said. “We, though, firmly believe the evidence did not support the defense advanced but the jury disagreed with that position.”
Unlike a criminal trial, the decision did not require a unanimous vote. Only 10 of the jurors had to agree. And in this case-- the jurors did vote 10 to 2 in favor of this decision.
The next phase of this process involves an assessment of Steele's current mental state to determine if he will be committed to an institution or allowed out on conditional release. Steele will remain at the Rock County jail until that decision is made.
MADISON (WKOW) -- Jurors have reached a verdict in the Andrew Steele trial.
The judge has committed Steele to the state Department of Health Services for life. An assessment will be done to determine if institutionalized care is required.
After nearly 12 hours of deliberation they've decided the former Dane County Sheriff's deputy lacked mental capacity at the time of the homicides of his wife Ashlee and his sister-in-law Kacee Tollefsbol. They say it was because of a mental disease or defect.
Steele suffers from the neurological condition ALS.
The verdict was reached by ten of the twelve jurors, meaning two people dissented.
27 News will have complete coverage of this case starting Thursday morning on Wake Up Wisconsin. ******** MADISON (WKOW) -- Jurors in the Andrew Steele trial entered a ninth hour of deliberation shortly after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday evening.
At issue is whether former Dane County Sheriff's deputy Andrew Steele, who has the neurological condition ALS, is responsible for strangling and fatally shooting his wife Ashlee, along with shooting and killing his sister-in-law Kacee Tollefsbol.
The jury consists of 12 members and 2 alternates. During standard criminal trials, all 12 jurors must agree on a verdict. But when jurors are asked to deliberate over whether or not there was a mental disease or defect, only 10 jurors need to agree on a decision.
For more on the conclusion of the trial and the jury's decision, visit wkow.com, follow @wkow on Twitter, and watch 27 News.
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