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Jost found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect

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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- One of three individuals believed responsible for cashing his mother’s Social Security checks for over thirty years will be off the streets for sixteen years.

67-year-old Charles Jost had a two-part hearing in court Monday. The first part was a plea agreement where he entered an Alford plea, proclaiming innocence but admiting the court has enough evidence to convict him. That sentence included 10 years for theft by forgery and being a party to the crime as well as six more years for mail fraud. Then, the court held a hearing to determine if Jost has mental health issues.

Court appointed psychologist Richard Hurlbut stated Jost is delusional, and confirmed that Jost is competent to stand trial, but has issues with comprehending time, and speaks of talking to his mother while in jail. His mother Marie Jost is presumed dead, since no one has seen her since about 1988, and would be 102 years old if alive. Jost believes his mother and brother Theodore are in California to avoid being placed in a nursing home. He also believes Reagan was the last President, and the “red sweater guy” was Wisconsin’s last Governor, referring to Lee Dreyfus.

District Attorney Louis Molepske Jr. is pleased with the outcome of the case. “He was found guilty of two counts. Count one is a class C felony theft by false representation and count four of mail fraud. He’ll be looking at sixteen years placement with the Department of Health Services. That’s due to the fact that after he was found guilty, he was then found not guilty by (reason of) mental disease or defect, which means that he will be placed in the custody of the State of Wisconsin for mental health services.”

Judge Thomas Flugar ruled Jost not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. Flugar ordered Jost to spend 16 years with the Department of Health Services, but a predisposition report must be done.

Assistant District Attorney Veronica Isherwood prosecuted the case, and says there are several possibilities for how Mr. Jost will spend those sixteen years. “Whichever placement he has, that will be reviewed every six months for the next sixteen years, and if any adjustments need to be made, they’ll be made, so he could be institutionalized and released in a year. He could be put in a group home and then institutionalized in a year. That will be ongoing reviews for the next sixteen years.”

The Department of Health Services report will be reviewed by the court February 17th to determine where Jost will be located. For now, he will be in the county jail where he already has served 481 days behind bars.

Jost’s sister Delores Disher and her husband Ron Disher still have open cases for the same crimes. Delores is in a nursing home after having a stroke, and is not able to go through court proceedings. Ron Disher’s trial is scheduled for early 2014.

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