Parole commission: Final Monfils 6 defendant not ready for release
GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Parole is not being recommended at this time for the only Monfils 6 defendant still in prison.
Keith Kutska, 70, went before the state Parole Commission on March 24 for review. The assigned commissioner stated Kutska had satisfied the conduct requirement for parole, but “that the programming, risk reduction, time served, and release plan requirements remain unmet.”
The commissioner recommended a 10-month defer, which will go before the parole commission chair. If approved by the chair, Kutska could ask for parole again in January 2022. He’s considered medium security, and the commissioner did not recommend reducing his security at this time. He’s being held at Jackson Correctional.
Kutska is serving a life sentence for the 1992 murder of Tom Monfils at the James River paper mill in Green Bay.
Investigators accused Kutska and five other plant employees of conspiring to kill Monfils. Monfils’ body was found in a pulp vat.
In 1995, the six men were convicted of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide at jury trial. Kutska, who was viewed as the ringleader, is the only one still in prison.
- Michael Piaskowski’s conviction was overturned in 2001 due to lack of evidence.
- Dale Basten was granted parole in 2017 and placed in an assisted living facility where he died in 2018.
- Michael Johnson was granted parole in 2019. CLICK HERE for Sarah Thomsen’s exclusive interview with Johnson.
- Michael Hirn was granted parole in 2018. CLICK HERE for our interview with Michael Hirn.
- Rey Moore was granted parole in 2019.
Prosecutors said the men conspired to kill Tom Monfils, who had heard Kutska talk about plans to steal an electrical cord from the mill. It is alleged that Monfils reported it to police, but his anonymity was compromised when Keith Kutska obtained a tape of Monfils’ call to police.
The prosecution accused Kutska and the other men of forming a group to take revenge on Monfils. Witnesses testified that the six cornered Monfils near a water fountain at the paper mill and beat him. One witness testified that two of the defendants were spotted carrying something toward the vat where Monfils’ body was found.
The trial was one of the most high-profile events in Northeast Wisconsin in the past 30 years. Over time, opinions have shifted about their guilt in the death of Tom Monfils. Supporters believe the men were wrongly convicted.
During Kutska’s appeals, testimony included the possibility that Tom Monfils killed himself. Kutska was granted an evidentiary hearing to present the argument that Monfils killed himself, but he was not granted a new trial based on that testimony.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court each declined to hear Kutska’s appeal.
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