Judge In Brantner Case Recuses Himself

It will be up to another judge whether Dennis Brantner is retried for the murder of Berit Beck. Fond du Lac County Judge Gary Sharpe Tuesday recused himself from the case based on comments he made to a jury after they were dismissed having failed to reach a verdict in a June murder trial. The judge commented in the jury room about sufficiency of evidence. When asked by an employee on another occasion he said he hadn’t made his mind up about a retrial. Sharpe told those in the courtroom he struggled with the decision. Brantner’s lawyer, Craig Powell, argued for the better part of an hour that the judge was impartial and should remain on the case. Later Powell told the press he is hoping the next judge will be fair about his motion to dismiss and acquit Brantner. District Attorney Eric Toney says he believes the judge made the right decision. Toney will be asking the next judge to declare a mistrial and schedule Brantner for a new trial. A district court administrator will decide whether the new judge assigned to the case will come from Fond du Lac County or another county. In the photo Berit Beck’s parents look on as Judge Gary Sharpe considers arguments about whether to recuse himself from the case.