A schizophrenic La Crosse man again wants out of the state mental health institution where he has been committed for most of the time since stabbing a police officer in 2006.
Joseph Smith, 30, is petitioning for conditional release from Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison for his sixth time.
Two doctors will evaluate Smith and discuss their findings during a hearing in La Crosse County Circuit Court at a later date.
A judge in 2006 committed Smith to state care for 46 years — the maximum allowed — after he was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
Smith attacked officer Jon Wenger with a screwdriver while hallucinating during a traffic stop on the North Side. Another officer shot Smith twice.
Smith was released from Mendota in 2010 but was sent back after only four months when he continued to suffer from paranoia and auditory hallucinations about police officers.
His condition there deteriorated and doctors had to inject Smith with a sedative and anti-psychotic medication when he attacked and seriously injured a psychiatric care technician.
La Crosse County Judge Dale Pasell in August denied Smith conditional release, saying he wasn’t ready to be on his own in the community.
The judge said then that Smith could be a candidate for release in the future if he continues making progress in a minimum-security setting.
Smith, who could legally be held until 2052, can petition for release every six months.