Petras friend reacts to verdict - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Petras friend reacts to verdict


LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- Jeffrey Lepsch faces life in prison for the killings of Paul and A.J. Petras.

A courtroom full of friends and family of the victims listened as the verdict was read Tuesday, among them was John Brinckman.

Brinckman is a defense attorney but for the trial of Jeffrey Lepsch he was an observer; listening to the evidence against the man accused of killing his friend.

"I tried to keep an open mind because I was more interested in making sure the correct person was convicted than just being in favor of a conviction," Brinckman said. "So I listened intently."

While he agrees with the guilty verdict, Brinckman says closure is something that may be out of reach for those close to Paul and A.J.

"I'm never going to be able to sit down and have fun and party with Paul again," Brinckman said. "I guess I've accepted that as a reality."

Brinckman says the best he can do is move forward, taking with him the memories of Paul.

"I remember Paul as a wonderful family man, I remember him as somebody who wanted to have  good time and wanted his friends to be involved when he was having a good time," Brinckman said. "I remember him as somebody who was a very decent and honest businessman in town."

A businessman killed while working side by side with his son in a family business he'd hoped to pass on to the next generation.

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