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Man found mentally ill in deadly beatingSubmitted: 06/05/2014
Story By Associated Press


MADISON - A homeless man has been ordered committed to a state mental hospital for up to 46 years for the fatal beating of another homeless man in Madison.

Thirty-three-year-old Justin Brooks pleaded guilty Thursday to first-degree reckless homicide. Brooks was accused of beating 61-year-old Robert Kuntz with a table leg as Kuntz slept on the Capitol Square nearly a year ago.

But the Wisconsin State Journal (http://bit.ly/1oy8IA5) reports Brooks was found not guilty by reason of mental illness and was ordered committed.

Under a plea agreement, a first-degree intentional homicide charge against Brooks was reduced to reckless homicide.

One of Brooks' lawyers says Brooks did not know Kuntz, and armed himself with a table leg because he thought Kuntz was armed with a knife and was out to get him.


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"Hardest thing I've ever done was to sit and watch," said Chris Moore.

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"We sold a truck, boat," said Sherri.

But it wasn't enough to pay the bills. That's when a friend unexpectedly stepped up.
 
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"I knew somebody had to do something," said Schroder.

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Unless you travel to a ranch in Florence County, where the Rock family thinks they've tapped into a special and healthy food source.

Raising bison has always seemed normal to Michael Rock. His favorite is Badaxe, who is 25 years old.
"He became my baby and I feed him maple syrup and apples all the time, that's his favorite treat," said Michael.

But the Rock family knows their livestock are rare for these parts.

"We got into it for the health issues because now we know what we're eating," said David.
David started the business about 10 years ago. These days, the Rocks have around 130 bison on their Florence County ranch.

"For me this is enjoyment because I'm outside and I'm with my family. And I like to be outside and work with them on that," said David.

Two of the Rocks' four children live and work on the ranch.

"Being able to tell them what to do. I'm still the dad, so I rule the roost. They are a big help and they do have good ideas. You do have to watch the younger generation," said David.

Their daughter, Josie, and son, Michael, help with feeding and maintaining the herd.

"My favorite are the babies. The babies when they're younger, they like fighting and playing. And they'll just be running around and playing," said Josie.

But raising these animals isn't just about entertainment. In the 1800's, bison were almost killed off. Now, the Rocks hope to promote the animal's health benefits be carefully managing which ones go to be processed.

"Bison is about the only other meat out there that they can eat. It's healthier than chicken, it's healthier than salmon, pig, beef, anything. It's the top of the line," said Karen.

Raising an animal is a large project, one that Michael would like to do for a long time.

"I like bailing hay with the tractors, I like taking care of the animals. I have a future goal, to have big barns full of them," said Michael.

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