Mental disease plea entered in Janesville stabbing case


Thursday, October 19, 2017

JANESVILLE—A Janesville man accused of attempted homicide for stabbing his grandfather pleaded guilty by reason of mental disease or defect Thursday in Rock County Court.

Judge James Daley accepted the plea and set sentencing for Nov. 29.

Gavin D. Roetteger, 19, has been under treatment and medicated for the duration of his case since the incident in May 2016.

Roetteger hears voices and has schizophrenic symptoms, according to court documents, and those problems apparently led him to stab David Fancher, 52, of Janesville, with a hunting knife at the west-side residence where Roetteger lived with his grandparents.

Fancher’s spleen and part of his stomach had to be removed as a result of the assault, and he had wounds near his heart, pancreas and kidney, according to the criminal complaint.

Roetteger was charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide with a weapon as an act of domestic abuse.

The sentence for that crime could be as long as 65 years, 45 in prison and 20 on supervised release, Daley said.

Assistant District Attorney Jerry Urbik said attorneys for each side will argue at sentencing for the length of time Roetteger should be committed to the treatment facility. The maximum is 40 years, Urbik said.

Daley ordered a report on Roetteger’s condition and background be prepared at a state treatment facility before sentencing.


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