Waukesha - A Milwaukee man was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree reckless homicide in the June killing of Brookfield businessman John Aegerter.
Tommy V. Douyette, 42, savagely beat Aegerter because Lynn M. Hajny had asked him to hurt Aegerter, court records state.
The two had gone to Aegerter's home June 21 to confront him because he reportedly owed money to Hajny's husband, Albert, who at one time was employed by Aegerter, according to the criminal complaint filed in the case. Douyette was described in the complaint as Lynn Hajny's boyfriend.
Douyette had been charged with first-degree intentional homicide as party to a crime, but the charge was reduced as part of a plea agreement that avoids a trial in Douyette's case. His trial had been scheduled for Jan. 30.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Lough said as part of the agreement, she will recommend that Douyette be sentenced to 35 years in prison and 15 years of extended supervision.
But Waukesha County Circuit Judge Patrick C. Haughney told Douyette Wednesday that he does not have to follow the recommendation. Haughney said he could sentence Douyette to the maximum 40 years in prison and 20 years of extended supervision that the first-degree reckless homicide conviction carries.
Had Douyette been convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, he would have been sentenced to life in prison.
The plea bargain requires Douyette to testify at Hajny's trial, now scheduled to begin May 7. Hajny, 49, of New Berlin, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide as party to a crime.
Lough said prosecutors and investigators have extensively debriefed Douyette about the homicide, have recorded multiple interviews with him and verified statements he made during those sessions.
During a separate hearing on Wednesday, Hajny's attorney, Michael F. Hart, told Haughney that Hajny has a long history of mental health treatment. Hart said he might pursue a mental health disease defense on her behalf and is seeking to have her evaluated. After that evaluation, Hart would decide whether to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
The next hearing in her case is set for Feb. 14.
Douyette will not be sentenced until after Hajny's case is resolved. His sentencing tentatively is set for May 23.
Aegerter's body was discovered face down in his garage by Brookfield police at 9:55 a.m. June 22 after officers were asked by one of his employees to go to his home and check on him because he had not shown up for work.
He had been beaten and bound, his face wrapped in duct tape and plastic grocery bags placed over his head. His ankles were tied with a black electrical cord, and a white electrical cord was around his neck, according to the complaint.
Douyette admitted to police that he had struck Aegerter about nine times with his bare hands, the complaint says.
Court records indicate that Hajny's cousin called police June 22 and told them Hajny had telephoned her and told her she had killed someone. Sometime after that call, Hajny and Douyette showed up at the woman's Slinger home, court records state.
Slinger police arrested the pair.
When the suspects were taken into custody, investigators found Aegerter's wallet, credit card and keys in Hajny's purse. One key ring was found in a towel with blood on it, the complaint says.
Both suspects also had blood drops on their shoes, and a shirt of Douyette's was found covered in blood, the complaint says.
Prosecutors plan to use DNA evidence during Hajny's trial, Lough said.
Aegerter, who lived alone, owned communications companies and several communication towers that transmit cellphone, pager and two-way business radio signals.
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