Kaempf Pleads Not Guilty In Waschbisch Murder
At a brief appearance before Judge David Miron in Marinette Circuit Court Branch I on Thursday, Aug. 22, Brent Leonard Kaempf, 48, of 526 Thompson Street, Peshtigo, entered a plea of not guilty to First Degree Intentional Homicide. Miron set some dates for further proceedings, but with the understanding that Kaempf will request still another judge before the case actually comes to trial.
Kaempf has been lodged in Marinette County Jail in lieu of $1 million cash bond since he was apprehended in Wauwatosa on April 29 following the stabbing death of his girl friend, Trish Waschbisch, on the night of April 27 or early April 28.
He appeared in court Thursday for the status conference and arraignment in his orange jail garb, accompanied by his attorney Jeffrey Jazgar of Green Bay.
Jazgar said he was prepared to proceed with the arraignment and enter a plea on behalf of his client with the understanding that there is a potential motion for change of venue.
Judge Miron said he had no problem finding probable cause, provided that the motion for change of venue is filed prior to a status conference scheduled for Nov. 4. If there is no change of venue request, there is to be a pretrial hearing on Jan. 10, followed by a 12-person jury trial is to begin on Jan. 28. The court calendar has four days set aside for the trial.
The case had originally been assigned to Judge James A. Morrison in Marinette Circuit Court, Branch II, but on Thursday, Aug. 1, Jazgar filed a request for a substitute judge, after which Miron was assigned.
Waschbisch was well known locally for her work on adult domestic violence issues, particularly as interim director of Rainbow House Domestic Abuse Services in Marinette. She and Kaempf had for some years shared a home at 526 Thompson Street, Peshtigo.
She was found dead in the bathroom of that home on the afternoon of April 28 by her teenage daughter, Alexis Waschbisch. The criminal complaint against Kaempf states death was caused by multiple stab wounds to the neck.
At an Aug. 1 appearance before Morrison, prior to reassignment of the case, an agreement was reached through which the court would accept a lien against proceeds of the sale of a home Kaempf owns at W3555 Aubin Street, Peshtigo in place of a lien on the home itself, to pay for his legal defense. Judge Morrison approved of this agreement to facilitate sale of the property.
However, other cases involving Kaempf are also working their way through the courts.
On June 27 a civil suit against Kaempf, seeking compensation for wrongful death, was filed in Judge Morrisons court by Atty. Timothy Alan Hawley on behalf of Justin G. Bunker, of 111 Front Street, Apt. D, Peshtigo, Alexis Waschbisch and the Waschbisch estate. Nancy Killgren, of Gillett, is listed as guardian ad litem for Alexis. Bunker is listed as personal representative for the Waschbisch estate.
Notices of motion and motion for Default Judgment in that case were filed on Friday, Aug. 16 by Hawley, seeking default judgment against Kaempf.
Meanwhile, on July 24, a Small Claims suit was filed listing Kaempf and Verna Mildred Staudenmaier, W5270 Elm Lane, POA, Peshtigo, as plaintiffs and Bunker as defendant, with Hawley listed as his attorney.
A pre-trial conference on that claim is scheduled before Judge Morrison at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.
Recent stories, opinions and photos