Judge Reduces Sentence in Oneida County Homicide

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

RHINELANDER, Wis. (AP) -- A prison sentence has been reduced for the man accused of killing a classmate nine years ago.

Oneida County Judge Robert Kinney reduced Jesse Halverson's sentence from 24 to 16 years, saying he made a mistake during the original sentencing.

Halverson was 14 when he shot and killed his classmate Dustin Polinski at the victim's town of Piehl house.

The two boys were playing with guns when Polinski was shot in the head with a rifle.

Investigators claimed Halverson tried to make the shooting look like a suicide by placing the weapon next to Polinski's body and putting his hand on the trigger.

Halverson eventually pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless homicide and was sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Judge Kinney, set to retire next month, says he didn't understand the ramifications of changes in the sentencing law at the time.

Kinney says he believed he was promising Halverson he would not serve more than 17 years in prison.

He granted a defense request to have the sentence modified.

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