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Sun Prairie man denied release from mental institution

A court gavel
A court gavel

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A Sun Prairie man who killed a neighbor with a sword will not be released from a mental institution any time soon.

A Dane County judge ruled Monday that there’s not enough evidence to support a recent petition that sought to release 28-year-old Zachary Schams. He was found not guilty by insanity in the 2009 death of 31-year-old Anthony Edlbeck.

The victim’s father said his family feared that Schams would commit other crimes if he was to be let go. Schams’ public defender, Dennis Burke, eventually conceded that there was not enough evidence to support the release petition.

Schams told investigators at the time of the slaying that he was the reincarnation of an Egyptian priest – and he said Edlbeck was taking away his psychic energy, because he was jealous over Schams’ musical abilities.

Schams is a native of Mauston. He told doctors he killed Edlbeck because he could not afford to see a psychic, and killing his neighbor would be the best way to protect himself.

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