JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WHAS11) -- The doors of the Clark County courtroom were locked Thursday morning as a hearing regarding the future of Alan Berryman, accused of murder, took place within the courtroom walls.
Berryman was charged with the murder of Keith Krieger in 2001, accused of shooting Krieger in the parking lot of the Green Tree Mall in Clarksville in front of Krieger's wife, Terri.
"He was saying, 'You set me up. Your brother's a cop.' Keith tried to defend himself and say, 'Don't you remember me? Don't you know who I am?'" she said. "And he jerked him out of the van and killed him."
Berryman was found by a jury to be not responsible for the murder by reason of insanity in 2002 and has since spent his days at a state mental hospital. He is now asking the judge for his release, having done so at least once before in 2010, claiming he is no longer a danger to himself or anyone else.
"What they're doing inside that courtroom is hearing psychiatrist testimony as to whether or not there's evidence to support a treatment plan that would include Mr. Berryman being released into the public," Attorney Larry Wilder said.
Despite not being able to get inside the hearing, Krieger's wife and Wilder were waiting outside, hoping the judge would not grant Berryman's release.
"We're 16 years later. Terri and her family are concerned, substantially concerned about the fact this could happen where he leaves and they could be victims again," Wilder said.
But under Indiana state statutes concerning mental health cases, according to Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull, what happened behind the closed doors of the closed hearing are not allowed to be disclosed, including the judge's decision to either grant or deny Berryman's release.
"The murder victim's wife, his children or any of his relatives won't be given any notice that this happened," Wilder said on a phone call after the hearing ended. "The prosecutor can't give notice because that would be a violation. The judge can't give notice because that would be a violation. And the Department of Mental Health Services can't give notice because that would be a violation."
While Mull also said he was not at liberty to discuss the hearing, he did want to give the citizens of Clark County an assurance.
"I was present in the hearing today, and I am taking all of the steps that I can legally take to make sure Clark County is safe and that I am doing everything I can to keep the citizens protected in this matter," he said.
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