Wife-killer receives conditional release to treatment center

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HARTFORD — Conditional release has been granted to a man committed to a state hospital after being acquitted by reason of insanity of fatally bludgeoning his wife and captured on 911 audio tape.

David Messenger will live at a Hartford mental health treatment center.

The state Psychiatric Security Review Board approved a plan Friday with several conditions. Ellen Lachance, executive director of the review board, says Messenger will be restricted to a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and maintain outpatient treatment.

A state prosecutor opposed expanded travel and the victim’s family has been against additional privileges.

Messenger fatally beat his wife, Heather, with a board and a fireplace poker in 1998 while their 5-year-old son watched. He was acquitted in 2001 by reason of mental disease or defect.