McNeer Claiming He was Insane

10/20/11 – A retired C-E-O of Wisconsin’s largest electric utility now claims he was insane, when he allegedly hit his wife in the head with a hammer numerous times. 85-year-old Charles McNeer pleaded innocent by reason of mental disease yesterday. He’s charged in Washington County with first-degree attempted homicide in the beating of his wife Ann McNeer in late June. After the attack, investigators said McNeer tried to kill himself with sleeping pills. He told officers his health was failing, and he tried to kill his wife because he thought she couldn’t live without him. McNeer moved into a house in Milwaukee this month, after he was released from the state’s Mendota Mental Health Institute – where he had been since the incident in late June. A mental exam found him competent to stand trial.