MADISON - The state court of appeals Wednesday upheld the conviction of a man who killed his girlfriend, burned the remains and stuffed them under the ice of Lake Winnebago.
Brandon Mueller is serving a life sentence for the murder of Renee Redmer.
He appealed, arguing his attorney was ineffective for not presenting the option of pleading guilty or no contest to the mutilation charge so as to improve his odds of convincing the jury that Redmer's killing was not intentional. He didn't deny killing Redmer, but disputed it was intentional.
The appeals court rejected the argument:
"Matters of reasonably sound strategy, without the benefit of hindsight, are "virtually unchallengeable" and do not constitute ineffective assistance... (A motions) hearing transcript establishes that the trial court carefully considered Mueller's claim. We cannot improve on the court's thorough analysis. On this record, we refuse to second-guess defense counsel's chosen strategy," the court wrote.
Mueller was sentenced to life without the possibility of extended supervision or parole on the homicide charged, plus a consecutive twelve-and-a-half-years for mutilating the corpse.
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