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Marshall man gets probation for burglary from former employer

August 10, 2018

A Marshall man who had been charged last year with trying to arrange the death of his ex-girlfriend was sentenced Thursday to probation and a year in jail for an unrelated burglary, but could still go to prison if he fails to behave on probation.

Christopher A. Beierle, 40, emotionally told Dane County Circuit Judge William Hanrahan that his words were “misconstrued” in December when it was reported to police that he had offered a man $10,000 to kill his former girlfriend. The charge of solicitation of first-degree intentional homicide was dropped in June when Beierle pleaded guilty to burglarizing a former employer, but Hanrahan was allowed to consider the charge when sentencing Beierle for the burglary.

Hanrahan, though, said he didn’t know whether he was even supposed to believe what someone called “Junkyard” had told police about the murder-for-hire plan, hatched in a Madison bar while Beierle was abusing drugs and alcohol. Instead, he said, he was sentencing Beierle on the burglary conviction.

Hanrahan rejected Beierle’s characterization of the burglary as an “impulsive” act because Beierle had to decide to drive to the Sun Prairie business, punch in a code he remembered from working there and repeatedly carry out tools that he intended to pawn.

“It wasn’t an impulsive decision, it was a series of bad decisions you took for minimal gain,” Hanrahan said.

Hanrahan sentenced Beierle to three years of probation for the burglary, but only after he first imposed and then stayed a six-year prison sentence. That prison sentence would begin automatically if Beierle’s probation is ever revoked.

Hanrahan also ordered Beierle to spend a year in jail as a condition of his probation.

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