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State Board Considers Release of Wife Killer

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David Messenger (center) with his attorney at a Psychiatric Security Review Board meeting November 18. 2011. Photo by WTIC's Matt Dwyer.

David Messenger (center) with his attorney at a Psychiatric Security Review Board meeting November 18. 2011. Photo by WTIC’s Matt Dwyer.

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MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) _ A Connecticut state board is deciding whether to release a man found not guilty by reason of insanity of beating his pregnant wife to death in front of their 5-year-old son in 1998.

Psychiatrists say David Messenger is ready to move from a maximum-security mental hospital into a community treatment program, but the victim’s family disputes that assessment and says Messenger is still a danger.

The meeting before the Psychiatric Security Review Board is set for Friday in Middletown.

The Chaplin man’s killing of his 42-year-old wife, Heather Messenger, was caught on audio tape during her 911 call.

He was acquitted of manslaughter by reason of insanity in 2001 and ordered confined for 20 years to a state psychiatric hospital.

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