A Mount Horeb man charged with the death last year of a Blue Mounds man was again found incompetent to stand trial, just a month after it was determined mental health treatment had returned him to competency.
Riley L. Berg, 22, who was charged with the Jan. 15 slaying of Nicholas Day, 26, was returned to the Dane County Jail after he was treated at Mendota Mental Health Institute, where he had been sent after being found incompetent to assist in his defense in April.
But once returned to the jail, he stopped taking prescribed medications, District Attorney Ismael Ozanne told Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds. Berg’s attorney, Brian Severson, said the situation that arose after Berg was returned to jail after being found competent was predicted by the doctor who had examined Berg.
“I made every effort to keep Mr. Berg where he was doing well because progress had been made,” Severson said. “It didn’t take long to get us back to where we were.”
Severson said he was “frustrated” with those who made the decision to return Berg to jail, adding that his frustration is not aimed at anyone who is involved in the case in court.
Reynolds said there was nothing that could be done to get Berg back to Mendota at that point, but he is there now and will again receive treatment to help him regain competency.
Day’s mother, Donna Luhman, appearing during the video hearing, said the development is “very frustrating.”
“It’s been about a year. We need justice for Nick,” she said. “Nick didn’t deserve this.”
Police have found no connection between Berg and Day, and Ozanne has said it’s a circumstantial case. But a criminal complaint states surveillance video placed Berg’s car in the area where Day’s body was found and Day’s blood was found in Berg’s car.
Day’s body was found along Highway JG in the town of Blue Mounds on Jan. 15. He had been shot in the back with a rifle, then was slashed several times with a knife, an autopsy found.
Berg has a history of schizophrenia, Berg’s father, John Berg, told investigators.
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"It's been about a year. We need justice for Nick."
Donna Luhman, mother of homicide victim Nicholas Day, 26