Todd Brecht was closing in on a time when he might rejoin society after a killing in 1985. That plan took a sharp curve Tuesday when he was sentenced for escape.
Brecht was convicted of shooting to death his brother-in-law, the Buffalo County District Attorney in 1985. He had a good enough behavior history in prison that he made it to minimum-security McNaughton Correctional facility in Lake Tomahawk. He had a regular job at the St. Germain Golf Course and was nearing a parole hearing where he might have been freed from prison. That changed October 1 when Brecht escaped, fleeing for several days before being rearrested in Orlando, Florida. Since he escaped from a state facility in Oneida county, he faced escape charges here.
District Attorney Steven Michlig said there was little to discuss regarding the facts. He said Brecht had people pooling money for him..
"....he did leave the facility,ended up in the Superior-Duluth area, did take buses, and was ultimately apprehended in Orlando, Florida. This is a planned escape...."
Public Defender John Voorhees said Brecht had a good prison record which led him to be considered for work at McNaughton. He said a death of a person at the golf course affected Brecht.
Brecht apologized to the golf course, McNaughton officials and all the people that were affected by the escape..
"...I realize now what this escape did. The effect it had on my family, the community, the people I worked for at the golf course, law enforcement. The ripple effect from the crime is bad...."
Brecht already has been returned to prison, but Oneida County Judge Michael Bloom gave Brecht two years of confinement to follow whatever the state Department of Corrections decides they should do with his time left.