State v. KucharskiAnnotate this Case
Defendant was charged with two counts of intentional homicide for the murders of his parents. Defendant pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. The circuit court found that Defendant had not met his burden of proving that he was not mentally responsible for the murders. The court convicted and sentenced Defendant to consecutive life sentences. The court of appeals granted Defendant a new trial under Wis. Stat. 752.35, concluding that Defendant met his burden of proving by the greater weight of the credible evidence that he was not mentally responsible for the murders. The Supreme Court reversed the grant of a new trial, holding (1) because the circuit court’s finding that Defendant did not meet his burden of showing by the greater weight of the credible evidence that he was not mentally responsible for the crimes was not clearly erroneous, the court of appeals abused its discretion in disturbing the factual findings of the circuit court concerning the burden of proof; and (2) the court of appeals therefore abused its discretion in concluding that a new trial in the interest of justice was warranted.