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Teenager accused of killing grandfather enters insanity plea

Wilson's next court date is Nov. 17

Sept. 21, 2011

Waukesha - The teenager accused of killing his grandfather with an ax in May entered an insanity plea in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Monday.

Attorney Michael Steinle entered a not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect on behalf of his client, Richard B. Wilson, 17, of Fox Point. Wilson is charged with first-degree homicide for the death of Ronald Siepmann, 78, of the town of Merton, the founder of Siepmann Realty, on May 8.

Judge William Domina ordered Wilson to be evaluated regarding the plea. The report is expected to be completed by Wilson's next court date of Nov. 17. If Wilson pursues an insanity plea, he faces the possibility of a two-phase trial. The first phase would be a criminal trial regarding the murder charge; if he were found guilty, that trial would be followed by a trial to determine whether Wilson was suffering from mental disease or defect at the time of the homicide.

Defendant has a few options

Another possible scenario would be that Wilson could enter a guilty or no-contest plea to the homicide charge, but maintain the insanity plea. The trial on the criminal charge would then become unnecessary. A jury or judge would then decide whether Wilson was mentally competent at the time of the murder. If Wilson were found competent, he would face a sentence of life in prison. If Wilson were found incompetent, he would be sentenced to a state mental health facility with the possibility of being released at a future date.

Son was off his medication

According to the criminal complaint, Wilson's mother told police her son suffers from schizophrenia. Wilson was recently evaluated by a court-appointed psychiatrist, who determined Wilson was competent to stand trial.

Before entering the plea, Wilson waived his right to a preliminary hearing. The hearing is held to determine if there is probable cause that a felony was committed. Domina asked Wilson a series of questions, and Wilson responded in a soft and sometimes almost inaudible voice.

Wilson is accused of using an ax to bludgeon Siepmann. Wilson and other family members were at the Siepmann residence for a Mother's Day celebration.

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