Mentally ill killer asks court for freedom after fatally shooting man in 2001

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by Adam Walser

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 11, 2010 at 5:51 PM

(WHAS11) - Allen Berryman has been confined inside the Madison State Hospital since a shooting 9-years-ago.
 

Berryman shot and killed a man in the parking lot of Green Tree Mall in 2001.
 

At his trial, the jury found him to be guilty, but mentally ill.
 

His lawyers and psychiatrist are now hoping to convince a judge that he's recovered enough from his illness to be set free.
 

Whether or not a judge finds Allen Berryman to be well will determine whether he spends more time in a state mental hospital or walks out a free man.
 

Berryman was found guilty but mentally ill in the murder of Keith Krieger in the Green Tree Mall parking lot in November 2001.
 

He told police he killed Krieger because the government told him to.
 

When police arrested him, Berryman had aluminum foil covering his windows to prevent radio waves from being transmitted to his brain.
 

He was diagnosed then with schizophrenia but now he says he is well.
 

“He's been compliant with his medication,” said Berryman’s attorney Bruce Brightwell. “He's responded well to his medication. He's responded well to the therapy there at the hospital.”

Krieger's family says the judge shouldn't release Berryman.

“I don't believe its right. I don't believe he should ever get out,” said Krieger’s son Michael Drake. “He's taken away something from me that I can never ever get back.  He should not be able to get back on the streets.”
 

“It's very frightening for me and for everybody else if he did get out,” said Kreiger’s widow, Terri Krieger.
 

She was standing beside her husband when he was murdered.
 

“Nine years committed is nothing compared to the loss of a life to me. He needs to be there for a lifetime,” Terri Krieger said.
 

“As long as the schizophrenia is under control, he's really just as normal as anybody else,” said attorney Brightwell.
 

“What happens when he gets out?” asked Drake. “Is he gonna have someone 24/7 sitting there beside him making sure he takes that medicine because he's supposedly crazy? What happens if he doesn't take that medicine? Is he gonna go out and kill somebody else?”
 

The judge heard three hours of testimony in a closed session Friday.
 
The hearing will be continued on June 30.

At that time, Berryman will either be ordered to remain in the mental hospital or set free.
 
Berryman's attorney tells WHAS11 News that the judge could find some type of "middle ground" solution, in which Berryman would be assigned to a group home or outpatient treatment.
 
The court could also order frequent monitoring, if Berryman is released.
 
 

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