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Brecht pleads guilty to escape charge


RHINELANDER, Wis. (WSAU) -- The convicted killer that escaped custody in Oneida County was back in court Tuesday.

54-year-old Todd Brecht walked away from the Camp McNaughton State Prison October 1st, and wasn’t located until three days later. Brecht had ridden busses and taxi cabs until he was arrested on a bus in Orlando, Florida.

Brecht appeared for a pre-trial conference with Judge Michael Bloom, where he entered a guilty plea. He will remain in the Oneida county jail awaiting an April 29th sentencing hearing.

Todd Brecht was convicted in 1986 for fatally shooting Buffalo County District Attorney Roger Hartman with a .22 caliber rifle October 17th, 1985. Brecht claimed the shooting was accidental, but prosecutors charged him with homicide.

An appellate judge in Wausau overturned the conviction, but the State Supreme Court reinstated it. After that, the Attorney General’s office challenged Supreme Court Judge Barbara Crabb’s decision at the Federal Appeals Court in Chicago. That court upheld the conviction, and he’s been incarcerated since. It is likely Brecht will no longer be kept at the minimum-security Camp McNaughton State Prison, since he is now considered a flight risk.