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Man pleads not guilty to torturing, killing autistic half-brother

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Gavel & Stryker, made from Cherry & Ash, sold to Whitney Hoffman. By KeithBurtis (Flickr: Gavel & Stryker) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Gavel & Stryker, made from Cherry & Ash, sold to Whitney Hoffman. By KeithBurtis (Flickr: Gavel & Stryker) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A former Dane County man has pleaded not guilty to torturing and killing his autistic half-brother, and burying his body in a wooded area.

An attorney for 28-year-old Jeffrey Vogelsberg entered the pleas Thursday to charges of first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.

Authorities said Vogelsberg often tortured 27-year-old Matthew Graville before killing him last July when the two lived together in Mazomanie.

Prosecutors said the defendant placed Graville’s body in a freezer, and then buried him in a 5 foot deep grave near Lone Rock. The body was discovered in early November.

Vogelsberg was arrested in Washington State, where his wife works at a military base. He refused to waive extradition, and Governor Scott Walker had to step in to help get Vogelsberg back to Wisconsin.

The defense now claims that Vogelsberg cannot get a fair trial in Dane County due to the heavy publicity in the case.

A judge will consider a request on May 6th for a change of venue in Vogelsberg’s possible trial. 

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