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Judge: Man convicted of heroin-related death not mentally competent for sentence

Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Judge's Gavel By Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

LA CROSSE, WI (WTAQ) - A man who provided the heroin that killed a La Crosse County man is not mentally competent to be sentenced.  

A judge made that determination Tuesday in the case of 28-year-old Malachi Hankel.  

His attorneys say Hankel suffers from bi-polar disorder and schizophrenia, and his medications have altered his mental state to the point in which he's still not thinking clearly.  

Hankel struck a plea deal in February that convicted him of reckless homicide in the heroin overdose death of Thomas Tremain. The victim died last fall at his home in the town of Barre.  

Hankel is currently at the state's Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison.  

A La Crosse County judge will hold another review hearing June 30th on Hankel's mental condition.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)

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