Man found mentally ill in fatal Madison beating

Scales of justice
WLUK file photo.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A homeless man has been ordered committed to a state mental hospital for up to 46 years for the fatal beating of another homeless man in Madison.

Thirty-three-year-old Justin Brooks pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree reckless homicide. Brooks was accused of beating 61-year-old Robert Kuntz with a table leg as Kuntz slept on the Capitol Square nearly a year ago.

But the Wisconsin State Journal reports Brooks was found not guilty by reason of mental illness and was ordered committed.

Under a plea agreement, a first-degree intentional homicide charge against Brooks was reduced to reckless homicide.

One of Brooks’ lawyers says Brooks did not know Kuntz, and armed himself with a table leg because he thought Kuntz was armed with a knife and was out to get him.

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