Madison
67° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

Man accused in plot to kill 2 appears in court

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:41:13 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 23 2013 07:27:43 PM CST
Andrew J. Meis
MADISON, Wis. -

A Madison man with mental health issues who police say purchased an assault rifle and threatened to kill his neighbors and one of his friends made his first appearance in court Wednesday.

Andrew J. Meis, 20, is accused in a plot to kill two Madison residents: a 54-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man.

"The defendant apparently obtained an assault rifle clone recently, specifically for the purpose of killing people," said Dane County Assistant District Attorney Matt Mosier at Meis's bail hearing Wednesday. "He has had some recent outpatient commitments as well as some inpatient psychiatric hospitalization, and there are continuing mental health issues."

Meis is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

Meis informed his psychiatrist he was going to kill his neighbors and one of his friends, according to a criminal complaint.

The complaint details a confrontation last December, when police said Meis knocked on a neighbor's door while carrying a gun.

Police said an AK-47 rifle and ammunition were recovered from Meis' home in the 4700 block of Hayes Road. Police said Meis was apprehended before any gun violence took place.

The man who helped sell Meis the firearm spoke with WISC-TV with the condition that his identity be hidden. He said Meis was shopping online for an AK-47 and reached out to the reputable firearms dealer to start the filing of paperwork, background checks and the eventual firearm transfer. The process moved forward legally without any denial or delays.

"So it's a pretty quick process," said the dealer. "It's very tough to make a judgment of someone's character or mental well-being in that short of time."

WISC-TV found that under state law, Meis's mental health history would not have been a red flag on a background check. Only those who have been involuntarily committed and prohibited by court order from possessing firearms would be denied a weapon under state law.

In this case, Meis voluntarily checked himself in for treatment.

"I don't want to be part of a transaction that ends up with something happening," said the firearms dealer. "I'm glad that this got stopped when it did and, from my understanding, he asked for help before acting."

Meis' attorney said her client continues to seek treatment.

"He absolutely is," said defense attorney Amanda Hall. "And I think past records of reaching out for help and reaching out for help in this case absolutely indicates that this is someone who wants to get better, who wants to be a functioning, productive member of society, just like anyone else."

Meis is scheduled to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine his competency before his next scheduled court date on Feb. 8. He is currently jailed on a $200,000 cash bond.

Advertisement
  • Safest Cities - Honolulu

    Marco Garcia/Getty Images

    4. Honolulu, Hawaii

    US cities where residents feel safest

    Gallup-Healthways has ranked the U.S. cities that feel the safest to residents.  How a city ranked on the list was based on how it measured in perceived safety, financial security and sense of community. Click through for the top 20.

  • Takata

    CNN

    12 biggest auto recalls

    Over 2 million more vehicles were added to official lists of models being recalled because of potentially dangerous airbags made by Japanese manufacturer Takata. The recall now totals about 36 million vehicles worldwide. Take a look at the biggest auto recalls in history.

  • Fidel sign Cuba

    Getty Images

    Looking back: U.S.-Cuba relations

    The United States officially removed Cuba from its list of countries that sponsor terrorism on Friday . Get up to speed on the last five decades of American foreign policy toward Cuba.

Advertisement