JEFFERSON — Kenneth Strese, 47, of Fort Atkinson, will spend the next eight years in Wisconsin’s prison system —five years of initial confinement and three years on extended supervision — after being convicted in Jefferson County Circuit Court on a charge of being party to the crime of first-degree reckless homicide of his nephew by drug delivery.
In this case, the drug that killed the young man was heroin.
Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge William Gruber impose Strese’s sentence in recent days after presiding over a four-day jury trial.
The maximum penalty for the Class B Felony is 60 years in prison. Jefferson County District Attorney Monica Hall had recommended Strese serve 10-12 years initial confinement and 4-5 years on extended supervision.
According to a criminal complaint, Strese provided the heroin that killed his nephew, Cameron J. Strese, 21, of Fort Atkinson, on Nov. 13, 2016. The younger Strese was found dead on his bed that day at his home at 515 Maple St. in Fort Atkinson.
Evidence was found and statements from witnesses were collected that led prosecutors to be able to convince a jury that Strese was responsible for Cameron Strese’s heroin death.
“On June 4 and June 14, 2018, (an investigating detective) spoke to an individual who wanted to remain anonymous, although (the detective) knew the identity of the individual,” the criminal complaint stated. “That individual said they are really good friends with the person who provided heroin to Cameron. The person said Ken Strese admitted to them that he was the person who sold drugs to Cameron.”
Other evidence included analysis by the State Digital Forensic Unit Division of Criminal Investigations of cell phone records of text messages between Strese and his nephew from Nov. 12, 2016.
These appeared to be about Cameron Strese obtaining the heroin he used before his death from a man identified in his phone records as “Uncle Ken” the complaint stated.
Gruber gave Strese 74 days credit for time already served and ordered the conditions of extended supervision to include that Strese maintain absolute sobriety, have no possession or consumption of alcohol, no possession or consumption of illegal drugs and report any prescribed medication he is taking. He is also to pay all court costs, fees, assessments and surcharges, including a DNA surcharge.
A restitution hearing for Strese will also be scheduled.