Interstate shooting suspect's lawyer brings up client's competen - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Interstate shooting suspect's lawyer brings up client's competency

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Zachary Hays/Sauk Co. Sheriff's Office Zachary Hays/Sauk Co. Sheriff's Office

BARABOO (WKOW) -- The attorney for a Wisconsin man accused of killing an Illinois woman in an interstate drive-by shooting says the man has significant mental health issues.

Jon Helland, attorney for Zachary Hays, said they're exploring all avenues for defense, including competency.

Hays, 20, appeared in Sauk County court Thursday, where he is charged with one count of first-degree intentional homicide and three counts of reckless endangerment. Hays is accused of killing Tracy Czaczkowski in a May 1 drive-by shooting as she returned with her family to Illinois from Wisconsin Dells.  Authorities say Hays also shot at other travelers. 

Hays also faces one count of first-degree reckless homicide in Milwaukee County, where investigators believe he shot his neighbor the morning of the drive-by.

Authorities say Sheriff's deputies shot and wounded Hays on I-90-94 in Dane County when he ignored police commands.  Hays was treated at UW-Hospital, and court records show there was planned surgery to reconstruct his elbow. 

Records also show Hays' tried to foil his treatment.  "Hays had attempted to pull out his medical tubes on several occasions and had to be held down by law enforcement until medical staff arrived to sedate him,"  Sauk Co. Sheriff's staff member Lewis Lange says.

A criminal complaint against Hays says his older brother, Jeremy Hays told investigators Zachary Hays appeared paranoid on the day of the interstate shooting, after smoking marijuana several days before.  The complaint says Jeremy Hays told detectives his brother was freaked out by vehicles with tinted windows.  Authorities say the Czaczkowski family car had tinted windows.

Authorities say Jeremy Hays was arrested as a felon in possession of a firearm on the day of the interstate violence.  But court records state with no criminal complaint lodged against Hays in Dane County as of yet, a court commissioner Thursday released Hays from all bail conditions.

Zachary Hays remains jailed on $500,000 bail.  He's due in court again next month.
 

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