Earlier this week, a Wisconsin Judge ordered a new trial for a man convicted of murder and sexual assault more than two decades ago. Terry Vollbrecht, who is represented by the Wisconsin Innocence Project, was sentenced to life in prison in December 1989 for the murder of Angela Hackl, but on Monday, Dodge County Circuit Judge
Steven Bauer said there is enough evidence to suggest he did not commit the crimes.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Wisconsin Innocence Project co-director Keith Findley, who has been working on Vollbrecht’s case for more than a decade, has argued that new evidence suggests another man who is serving a life sentence for killing a different woman also killed Hackl.
According to a pre-sentencing report from this murder, Kim Brown confessed to sexually assaulting Linda Nachreiner chaining her to a tree and shooting her in the back of the head. The victim Vollbrech was convicted of murdering, Angela Hackl, was also chained to a tree and shot. The Wisconsin Innocence Project said prosecutors withheld an affidavit from one of Brown’s fellow jail inmates who claimed Brown said he liked to chain women to trees and light them on fire.
The [Wisconsin] Innocence Project also argued that another man in jail with Brown in 1987 said Brown told him it was better to “chain them up and when done with them, burn them.”
In 1992 one of Brown’s fellow prison inmates said he overheard Brown say he raped, shot and tied Hackl to a tree. Brown said he was going to light her on fire, but the lighter didn’t work, according to the Innocence Project.
A year later another prison inmate said Brown told him someone else was being punished for Hackl’s death and he, Brown, had killed her.
Post-conviction DNA tests requested by Findely’s organization found semen from an unknown third party on Hackl’s body and on the sleeping bag Vollbrecht said they had consensual sex on.
A state appeals court has twice upheld Vollbrecht’s convictions.