MADISON (WKOW) -- A convicted murderer has been granted a new trial by a Wisconsin Appeals Court.
In 1989, Terry Vollbrecht was found guilty of murdering 18-year-old Angela Hackl in the woods just outside of Sauk City. The Second District Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a jury could find reasonable doubt that Vollbrecht was guilty of the 1987 murder because of new evidence.
The Wisconsin Innocence Project has been working on Vollbrecht's case for years. "It was a very troubling case based on circumstantial evidence," said co-founder Keith Findley. Findley said that both a County Circuit Court and Appeals Court focused new evidence indicating someone else possibly committed the murder in their decisions.
A Sauk County Circuit Court judge ordered a new trial for Vollbrecht after attorneys with the Wisconsin Innocence Project argued his case in 2011. The state appealed that decision.
"There was another murder with some strikingly similar circumstances that had occurred within 30 miles," said Stephen Hurley, Villbrecht's co-counsel. Hurley was referring to the murder of Linda Nachreiner, which happened six weeks after Hackl's in Adams County. Hurley said, "The circumstances of that murder were not revealed to the defense even though the prosecution knew about it."
A man named Kim Brown plead guilty to Nachreiner's murder. In both cases, the women were found partially clothed, chained to a tree and shot from behind. Hurley said it's the similarity in those incidents that has cast reasonable doubt for the courts.
Brown has said he is not responsible for Hackl's murder though the defense argues he confessed the crime to a prison inmate.
Vollbrecht's attorney said he's been out on bail since the circuit court judge's decision in 2011. What happens next is up to the state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and WKOW. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Program Manager Jessica Miller at 608-661-2794. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.