7/29/11 – 7/29/11 – A retired C-E-O of Wisconsin’s largest electric utility is not mentally capable of helping with his own defense in an attempted murder case. That’s what a Washington County judge ruled Thursday in the case of 85-year-old Charles McNeer. The Hartford man underwent a mental competency exam soon after he was charged with Attempted Homicide for allegedly trying to kill his wife Ann in late June. Circuit Judge Todd Martens said McNeer showed improvement during his treatment at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison. The judge said McNeer is likely to become mentally competent to stand trial at some point – and another court hearing is set for September sixth to see how McNeer’s doing. Mendota specialists diagnosed McNeer with major but treatable depression. Authorities said he struck his wife several times in the head with a hammer, because his own health was failing and he did not think his wife could live without him. McNeer was Wisconsin Energy’s chairman from 1975 through ’91.