State denies early release to 83-year-oldThe state Corrections Department has refused to order the release of an 83-year-old prisoner.
The state Corrections Department has refused to order the release of an 83-year-old prisoner.
Wallace Stenzel of Thiensville was sentenced to prison almost six years ago, for causing a drunken driving crash that killed a 4-year-old boy and his 5-year-old sister on Interstate-43 in Mequon.
Stenzel petitioned for an early release under the state’s “geriatric clause,” which allows such releases for seniors with failing health.
His attorney said Stenzel has macular degeneration that cannot be cured, and he no longer has a central field of vision. The attorney said Stenzel also has high blood pressure, hearing loss and mild emphysema.
But the corrections department said the public interest would not be served by releasing Stenzel without a judge’s approval.
Stenzel, a World War II veteran, has just over two years left in his prison sentence.
Jake and Lauren Szeflinski were killed in the drunken driving crash, which occurred in January of 2002.
Authorities said Stenzel fell asleep at the wheel before causing the mishap.