- Associated Press - Friday, January 6, 2017

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The former Dane County sheriff’s deputy who killed his wife and her sister in 2014 has been ordered released to his parents.

Andrew Steele, 42, is in the advanced stages of ALS, a neuromuscular disorder, The Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/2iY4jug ) reported. Steele was ordered released from Mendota Mental Health Institute in March, after a judge ruled that because of Steele’s disease, he no longer posed a danger. The court had difficulty finding a care facility because of the notoriety of the case.

On Thursday, Dane County Circuit Judge Nicholas McNamara approved a plan for Steele’s care. Jessa Nicholson Goetz, an attorney for Steele, said that under the plan, Steel will live with his parents and will have 24-hour in-home care along with supervision. According to Nicholson Goetz, the 42-year-old has virtually no mobility left and can’t speak or eat on his own.

“What we’re really talking about at this point is end-of-life care,” Nicholson Goetz said.

Steele’s new home will be kept confidential by law. Police will be notified of Steele’s location after his release, said Nicholson Goetz. However, there is not requirement to alert neighbors in the area.

“I would expect the next few months of Andy’s life to be very private ones,” Nicholson Goetz said. “I don’t expect that there will be a lot of interaction with neighbors or community members.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if Steele will move into his parents’ current home.

The victims’ brother Brad Putnam, who is a guardian to Ashlee Steele’s children with his wife Rachelle, said that during his time at Mendota, Andrew Steele would call and write to the children. Several letters arrived at the Putnam household as recently as Christmas.

Brad Putnam raised his concern of Steele contacting the children after his release.

Judge McNamara said the court didn’t have authority over Steele’s actions while at Mendota. But once on supervised release, Steele will be monitored by a state Department of Corrections agent and any contact violations will be reported to the court.

In 2015, Steele pleaded guilty to first-degree intentional homicide for the shooting deaths of his wife Ashlee Steele, 39, and her sister, Kacee Tollefsbol, 38, at the Steele home in Fitchburg on Aug. 22, 2014. However, Steele also pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. A jury found him not legally responsible for the deaths, and he was committed, in April 2015.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsj

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