Chilton, Wis (WFRV) A 30-year-old Manitowoc man accused of murder has reached a plea deal in the case. Robert Saurbeir entered a no contest plea in Calumet County Court to a charge of First Degree Reckless Homicide and was found guilty of killing Joseph Baer last year. Saurbeir had been scheduled to stand trial April 30th on a charge of First Degree Intentional Homicide, but instead opted to enter a plea to the lesser charge.
His attorney, Jeffrey Jazgar, told the court that his client wished to spare Baer's family the stress of a trial. Calumet County District Attorney Jerilyn Dietz discussed the matter with the victim's family and they believed the new charge fit the facts of the case best.
According to the criminal complaint, Saurbeir and a co-defendant, James Loewe of Hilbert, beat Baer to death at a farm in Calumet County on March 26, 2011.
The plea agreement calls for both sides to jointly recommend the maximum term of confinement, 40 years, but permits each to argue the length and conditions of extended supervision, which may be up to an additional 20 years. The sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.
Loewe is scheduled to enter a plea on May 16th.