Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - A suspect in a Chippewa County homicide was in court on Thursday and took a plea deal.
Matthew Labrec pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm and armed robbery. That deal dismissed the most serious charge he faced, being a party to first degree intentional homicide, which carried the possibility of life in prison.
Labrec was accused of playing a role in killing Kenneth Patterson in March 2016 after Patterson's body was found in the yard of a home near Lake Wissota.
Because of the deal, Labrec now faces up to 50 years behind bars. But before he is sentenced, officials will conduct a pre-sentencing investigation, which could reduce the time he spends in prison.
Matthew Krische, Labrec's attorney, spoke in court on Thursday. "I think once the judge is able to see Mr. Labrec's history, see how he grew up, the troubles he had had, I think we'll be able to get a fair and just sentence,” Krische said.
As part of the plea deal, Labrec will be a willing witness in the prosecution of everyone else charged in connection with the case. Two other cases he was currently involved in were also dismissed.
Labrec, who is already in prison on unrelated charges, will be sentenced in May.
The other man police charged with Patterson's murder is Jesse Lloyd. He'll be in court March 3.
Posted on January 10, 2017:
Chippewa Falls (WQOW) -- News 18 has obtained new information about a murder case out of Chippewa County. Assistant District Attorney Roy Gay says a possible plea agreement is on the table for Matthew Labrec.
Labrec is one of two men charged in the March murder of Kenneth Patterson near Lake Wissota. He is currently in prison on unrelated charges.
Patterson's body was found in the front yard of a home near Lake Wissota. According to the charges, Labrec and Jesse Lloyd were planning to rob Patterson when he showed up to buy drugs from them. Labrec told investigators that Lloyd shot Patterson, and that he also tried to shoot but his gun didn't fire.
Labrec will be back in court on February 9. Assistant District Attorney Gay says a plea agreement could be entered at that time.
Lloyd's next court appearance is March 1.