UPDATE: Man Committed for Sword Slaying Won't Be Released

By: Dana Brueck Email
By: Dana Brueck Email
UPDATE:  A man who killed his Sun Prairie neighbor with a sword won

Zacahary Schams

UPDATED Tuesday, May 7, 2013 --- 10:19 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A man who killed his Sun Prairie neighbor with a sword won't be getting out of a mental health institution.

Zachary Schams and his lawyer petitioned for his release from Mendota Mental Health Institution. Schams was given a lifetime commitment to Mendota after he was found not guilty by reason of mental illness in the 2009 death of 31-year-old Anthony Edlbeck.

The victim's family attended a hearing Monday in Dane County Circuit Court. Edlbeck's father, Dale, told the judge they were fearful Schams could commit other violent acts if he's released.

The State Journal reports Schams' public defender, Dennis Burke, conceded there wasn't enough evidence to support the release petition.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press


UPDATED: Friday, April 3, 2009 --- 4:50 p.m.
REPORTER: Chris Woodard

Two days after a Sun Prairie man is charged with killing his neighbor new details are released about what may have been going through his head.

He tells police he stabbed the man 4 times with a sword.

From calling an ambulance to the scene himself, to telling police he used a sword as the murder weapon, the case against 24 year old Zachary Schams continues to get more bizarre.

Friday Schams made his initial court appearance, mouthing I love you to family members who were in attendance.

A criminal complaint released Friday says Schams admitted to the killing and told police he had been planning it for more than a week.

He says Wednesday morning he woke up he began preparing to kill his neighbor, 31 year old Anthony Edlbeck.

He dressed in all black and made escape plans and plans to get rid of DNA evidence. He waited for Edlbeck to walk to his car.

When he did, Schams says he stabbed Edlbeck four times with a sword. The complaint also states the Schams refers to Edlbeck by the wrong name.

Public Defender Dennis Burke says, "The complaint can serve as a basis of finding of probable cause and that both parties would jointly move to have Mr. Schams evaluated for competency."

The judge set Schams cash bail at half a million dollars and ordered a mental competency exam be performed immediately.

At this point the biggest question, and one the criminal complaint didn't address, is why Schams decided to carry out the attack.


UPDATED Friday, April 3, 2009 --- 2:00 p.m.

From NBC15's Chris Woodard:
During today's initial court hearing, bail was set at $500,000 for Zachary Charles Schams. Also, the Judge ordered a competency evaluation take place immediately.

We also learned today, that Schams killed Anthony Edlbeck with a sword. He punctured Edlbeck four times. Police say Schams had been planning the attack since March 23rd.


UPDATED Thursday, April 2, 2009 --- 2:10 p.m.

Dane County Coroner John Stanley has released the name of the Sun Prairie homicide victim from April 1, 2009. The victim is:

Anthony Edlbeck
Sun Prairie Wisconsin

A forensic examination of the victim was completed today. The preliminary results indicate that Mr. Edlbeck died as the result of a constellation of penetrating sharp force injuries.

The investigation of this homicide by the Sun Prairie Police Department, the Dane County Sheriff’s Department and the Dane County Coroner’s Office is ongoing


UPDATED: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 --- 10:45 p.m.

Sun Prairie Police say while they don't have a cause of death yet, the victim did suffer significant wounds.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday morning after which police hope to have a better idea how and why an apparent neighborly dispute turned deadly.


UPDATED Wednesday, April 1, 2009 --- 9:45 p.m.

Sun Prairie Police Department Media Release
From: Sun Prairie Chief Patrick J. Anhalt, Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney

The Sun Prairie Police Department and the Dane County Sheriff’s Office report that they have a suspect in custody for a homicide that occurred in Sun Prairie on today’s date.

The Sun Prairie Police Department was notified at approximately 7:30am this morning April 1, 2009, that a person was seen lying in a parking lot in the 100 block of Klubertanz Drive in the northern part of the city. Upon officer arrival the victim, a 31 year old male was found lying face down in the parking lot behind his apartment building. It was determined that this would be investigated as a suspicious death and a crime scene perimeter was set up around the area, a portion of the 100 block of Klubertanz Drive was closed to traffic during the investigation.

The Sun Prairie Police Department and the Dane County Sheriff’s Office determined that this did not appear to be a random act and that the victim was targeted.

Per the Dane County Coroner’s Office, the victims name or the cause of death is not being released.

A person of interest that was talked to early in the investigation has been taken into custody for first degree intentional homicide, and is currently at the Dane County Jail.

The person charged is identified as; Zachary Charles Schams, DOB July 29, 1984, from Sun Prairie.

Schams, became a person of interested when he called for an ambulance for himself, stating that he had injury.

A short time after the Officer that had arrived with the ambulance, was approached by a person that told him there was a person lying in the back parking lot next to where Schams lived.

While investigators spoke with Schams to see if he knew anything about the victim, he confessed to the killing. The motive for his actions are unknown and are investigations is continuing.


UPDATED Wednesday, April 1, 2009 --- 9:10 p.m.

Sun Prairie PD just updated NBC15's Chris Woodard.

This death investigation is considered a homicide. A suspect is in custody. The suspect is a neighbor of the victim. Police say he has admitted to the crime. The suspect is identified as 24-year-old Zachary Charles Schams. The victim's name still has not been released.


UPDATED Wednesday, April 1, 2009 --- 7:45 p.m.

Sun Prairie PD will have a Press Conference at 8:10 p.m. NBC15's Chris Woodard will be there, and he'll have a LIVE report on NBC15 News at 10:00 p.m.


UPDATED Wednesday, April 1, 2009 -- 5:00 pm

A body has been found in a Sun Prairie neighborhood -- leaving neighbors wondering and worrying what happened.

Sun Prairie Police got the call for a person down in the 100-block of West Klubertanz Drive around 7:30 Wednesday morning.

"I walked out about quarter after seven to the corner, got a paper, walked around -- picked up my car and that's when I heard the ambulance," Janice Mell says.

Mell, who's lived on West Klubertanz Drive for almost 20 years, says nothing struck her as out of the ordinary.

"We hear ambulances all of the time."

But then a neighbor down the road noticed something else out her window.

"I noticed the police tape was up and I thought that was kind of strange," Andrea Jiannacopoulos says.

She lives next door to this apartment building. Police say behind the building, in a parking lot, officers found a 31-year-old man dead.

Officers got the call around 7:30 Wednesday morning for a report of a "person down." They haven't yet said how the man died other than to say the death is suspicious.

"We don't feel it was a random act and we don't feel that the public is in danger," Rem Brandt with Sun Prairie Police says.

Sun Prairie Police say the victim was found alone, but they're questioning a another man, considered a person of interest.

"He was in the area, but we're not sure what the connection is... that's why we're interviewing him."

"I figured if there was something really suspicious going on that they would've closed the school down and not have been letting kids go by the apartment," Jiannacopoulos says.

Northside Elementary, across the street, went into modified lockdown. No children were allowed outdoors for recess. Police believe the victim lived in the apartment building.

"I'm very surprised and we don't hardly see people come in and out of that building really," Jiannacopoulos says.

Police have identified the man but his name has not been released.

The parking lot where the man was found backs up to Highway 151. Police ask motorists who may have been traveling on 151 Wednesday morning - if they saw anything suspicious in the parking lot - to contact them.

Anyone with information, call Sun Prairie Police at 608-837-7336 or the anonymous tip line at 608-837-6300


UPDATED Wednesday, April 1, 2009 --- 12:10 p.m.

Northside Elementary School is now on "Modified Lockdown." This means children will not be going outside for recess.


Posted Wednesday, April 1, 2009 --- 10:50 a.m.

Right now, Sun Prairie police are at the scene of a death investigation.

The body of a 31-year-old man was found in a rear parking lot in the 100 block of W. Klubertanz (near Parkview Drive). Officers believe the man lived in the apartment complex.

Police call this a "suspicious death." However, they do not believe the public is in danger. Officers are questioning a man; a person of interest. Detectives ask anyone traveling on Highway 151 in the 6:00 a.m. hour to call if they noticed anything unusual in this area.

Police have this area blocked. This is near Northside Elementary School, however the school is not on lockdown. Drivers are urged to avoid this area.

Deputies with the Dane County Sheriff's Department are aiding in this investigation.

Stay with NBC15 and NBC15.com for continuing coverage.

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