Minnesota man who killed parents 16 years ago set for release

A Minnesota man who stabbed his parents to death with a butcher knife at their Waconia home 16 years ago is expected to be released from a state hospital as soon as next week.

The courts found Richard Happ, 46, not guilty by reason of mental illness. Instead, Happ was civilly committed to the state security hospital in St. Peter as mentally ill and dangerous for an undetermined length of time.

A state panel has now approved the release of Happ from the Minnesota Security Hospital. Happ would be transferred to a halfway house in West St. Paul.

Happ's brother, who he also tried to kill, is strongly opposing the release. But the courts and Department of Human Services have ruled that Happ is prepared for greater freedoms, despite being diagnosed with schizophrenia, drug and alcohol addictions, and delusions.

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