Wisconsin News

La Crosse man convicted in officer stabbing gets new hearing

LA CROSSE, Wis. --  A La Crosse man serving time in a state mental health facility for trying to stab a La Crosse Police officer will get another hearing on his petition for release.

29-year-old Joseph Smith was sentenced in 2006 to 46 years in the Mendota Mental Health Institute for trying to stab Officer Jon Wenger during a traffic stop.

Smith, a schizophrenic, was hallucinating at the time of the stabbing. He was shot twice by another officer.

Wenger, now a sergeant with La Crosse Police, was wearing a bullet proof vest that prevented him from being injured.

A hearing set for August 24 will include testimony from medical experts on Smith's condition.

Smith was released for several months in 2010, but was re-committed to Mendota after experiencing more hallucinations.

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