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Man who decapitated mother with sword has plan ordered for conditional release from Mendota

May 19, 2018

A man who decapitated his mother with a sword in 2015 had a plan for conditional release from his commitment to the Mendota Mental Health Institute ordered Friday because he is dying from cancer, his father said.

A plan that identifies treatment and services for Matthew J. Skalitzky, 42, upon his release was ordered by Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds after a psychologist who examined Skalitzky, as well as attorneys for both sides, recommended his conditional release, according to online court records.

Reynolds will decide at a hearing in July whether to accept the plan that she ordered the state Department of Health Services and Dane County to prepare.

Skalitzky was committed to a state mental institution indefinitely by Reynolds in September 2016 after he pleaded guilty to first-degree intentional homicide and then, following a plea agreement based on mental health examinations, was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

Skalitzky killed his 68-year-old mother, Jane Skalitzky, at his apartment in Sun Prairie on Sept. 11, 2015, because he believed she was an inhuman clone and decapitated her after she found a box containing swords and other weapons, a criminal complaint said. His mother worked as a special-education teacher for the Sun Prairie School District for nearly 30 years and retired in 2007.

Police learned that Skalitzky had been prescribed drugs to treat his mental illness but he had stopped taking them prior to the incident, according to the criminal complaint. At his sentencing hearing, Reynolds also ordered that psychotropic drugs prescribed for Skalitzky be given to him involuntarily if he balked at taking them.

Skalitzky has responded well to treatment for his schizophrenia at Mendota, said his father, Joe Skalitzky.

“He seems to be happy (at Mendota) from what I’m hearing,” he said. “He has made many friends there. He’s an intelligent, social person.”

Shortly after his commitment to Mendota, Skalitzky was diagnosed with cancer and had surgery and chemotherapy, his father said. He was told the cancer was in remission last year. But he found out earlier this year that the cancer had spread, his father said.

Doctors told him he had about one year to live with treatment and six months to live without it.

“He hated chemo so he’s not going through that again. He’s just on pain medication now,” Joe Skalitzky said.

State law allows anyone committed after being found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to petition for termination of the commitment every six months. The standard for conditional release in Wisconsin is “dangerousness.”

After Skalitzky petitioned for his conditonal release in March, he was examined by Dr. Michael Spierer. His report led Reynolds to find that Skalitzky’s release “would not pose a significant risk either of bodily harm to the defendant or to others, or of serious property damage,” according to online court records.

Reynolds ordered the plan for conditional release to identify any treatment or services that Skalitzky will get; any needs for supervision, medication, community support services, residential services, vocational services and other treatment; and who will be responsible for providing the treatment and services identified in the plan.

“He’s not being released into the community,” Skalitzky’s father said. “He can’t just walk away.”

Jane Skalitzky’s sister, Luana Schneider, said her nephew should stay at Mendota. “I’m not impressed at all with the conditional release,” she said. “He is who he is and he should stay at Mendota.”