A New Berlin woman was convicted Monday of a reduced felony murder charge in the brutal murder of a Brookfield businessman, under a plea deal that exposes her to a maximum sentence of less than half the time her co-defendant faces.
Lynn M. Hajny, 49, entered a so-called Alford guilty plea Monday to felony murder due to aggravated battery, under which she does not admit guilt but concedes there is sufficient evidence to convict and wishes to accept a plea deal.
Under the deal — which came one week before she was set to go to trial for her role in the death of John Aegerter, 63 — Hajny will face a maximum sentence of 15 years and nine months in prison, followed by five years and three months on extended supervision in the community.
She had faced a maximum life imprisonment term under her original charge of party to the crime of intentional first-degree homicide.
Her co-defendant, Tommy V. Douyette, 43, faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison followed by 20 years on extended supervision in the community. Douyette in January pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of first-degree reckless homicide — greater than that of Hajny. His deal also required him to testify in Hajny's trial, should she have one.
The two will be sentenced together Oct. 9.
Prosecutors said Hajny and Mark Finken, then a Wauwatosa police clerk, had plotted for months to kill Aegerter, steal his identity and business assets, enlisting Douyette's help to do the actual killing. Finken committed suicide shortly after the murder investigation began.
Assistant District Attorney Timothy Westphal told Waukesha County Circuit Judge Patrick Haughney that prosecutors offered the deal, in part, because they had concerns about Douyette's credibility at trial given statements Douyette has made while in the Waukesha County Jail.
After the hearing, Westphal said Douyette has given "conflicting statements" to other inmates about what happened the night of Aegerter's death.
During the hearing, however, Westphal revealed a new piece of evidence against Hajny: that a DNA analysis has shown Aegerter's blood was on Hajny's jeans and a shoe seized when she was arrested just hours after the murder at her cousin's Slinger home, where she and Douyette fled.
Aegerter, who owned Air Page Corp. in Brookfield and other satellite radio companies and dozens of radio transmission towers, was "worth millions," proecutors have said.
Brookfield police went to Aegerter's home in June 2011 after a coworker was concerned he didn't show up for work. They found Aegerter in his garage, his ankles tied in electrical tape, his face wrapped in duct tape and his head covered with several plastic bags with a white electrical cord around his neck. Finken committed suicide shortly after being suspended from his police job amid the investigation, but in his suicide note he denied being involved.