Man granted parole in Green Bay paper mill murder case

Michael Hirn (Department of Corrections)

(WLUK) – Michael Hirn, 54, one of the men convicted of killing Tom Monfils at a Green Bay paper mill in 1992, has been granted parole.

Hirn, along with Michael Johnson, Rey Moore, Dale Basten, Michael Piaskowski and Keith Kutska were convicted in 1995 and all were sentenced to life in prison. A federal judge later overturned Piaskowski’s conviction. Basten was paroled due to his failing health, and died in June. The other three remain in prison, and all have been denied parole previously.

Hirn is currently housed at the McNaughton Correctional Center, a minimum security facility in Lake Tomahawk, according to state records. He will be released no later than Dec. 18.

According to the parole documents obtained by Fox 11, Outagamie County Judge James Bayorgeon – who presided over the joint trial – supported the release as early as 2010.

“I believe Mr. Hirn should be paroled at the earliest possible date. While his involvement was extremely bad judgment, I feel the time he has served is sufficient punishment and that further incarceration is not necessary. He has paid his debt, he should paroled,” Bayorgeon wrote.

The report says Hirn has been approved to be live with his step-father. He is close to obtaining an associate’s degree, and has been doing “very well” at work release.

The decision describes Hirn as the “least culpable” in Monfils’ death.

Monfils reported Kutska to police for stealing an extension cord from the then-James River paper mill on the east side. Prosecutors said the six confronted Monfils, dumping his body into a pulp vat. All have denied any role in the murder.

Johnson’s next parole hearing is in March. Moore’s next review is in July. And Kutska’s next parole hearing is in March, 2021, the state says.

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