Wausau Man Gets 35 Years Prison in Fatal 2012 Beating

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email
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A 20-year-old Wausau man convicted of beating a man to death in June 2012 will spend 35 years in prison followed by 15 years extended supervision.

Investigators say Zach Froehlich and 22-year-old Warren Krohn, robbed and beat Kerby Kniess, 49, to death in a garage on the 100 Block of North 7th Avenue in Wausau. Krohn is facing five charges including first degree reckless homicide. He's due in court Nov. 17.

In Aug., Froehlich pleaded no contest to first degree reckless homicide. All other charges were dismissed in other open criminal cases. Those cases were considered during his sentencing.

According to the criminal complaint, Froehlich admitted to police he was the one who swung the fatal blows to Kneiss and that he was encouraged to do so by Krohn. Froehlich also told police the pair went to Kneiss' home with the intention of hurting him in order to rob him of alcohol, cigarettes and cash. They reportedly stole the $21 Kneiss has on him. The two suspects were acquaintances with Kniess, and had stolen cigarettes from Kneiss' residence in the past.

According to the criminal complaint, a friend told officers Froehlich beat up the victim to "work his way into" Warren's [Krohn] crew. The criminal complaint also states Froehlich said he wanted to keep the murder weapon as a trophy.

Both men remain behind bars on $250,000 bonds.

Froehlich was also charged with suffocation and strangulation in a separate case after police say he beat up another man just hours after the murder. According to the complaint, Froehlich "jumped" the young man and put him in a choke hold, as another unidentified suspect hit him with a baseball bat.

Froehlich will received credit for 868 days already spent in jail.

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