A Sauk County man will serve two years on probation for his role in the beating of a man outside a Reedsburg restaurant last fall.
As part of a deal with prosecutors, Eric W. Ziebell, 20, of Reedsburg, pleaded guilty Thursday to one felony count of being a party to a substantial battery and one misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer.
In exchange, the Sauk County District Attorney’s Office recommended that the judge withhold sentencing and order Ziebell to serve two years on probation. The prosecution dismissed a third charge of disorderly conduct.
Sauk County Assistant District Attorney Michael Albrecht also said the state would expunge the felony conviction if Ziebell successfully completes conditions of his probation.
The victim, who sustained serious injuries in the beating outside a Reedsburg Pizza Hut, requested the maximum prison sentence be imposed against the three defendants. However, Albrecht said probation was appropriate because of Ziebell’s age and lack of any prior criminal history.
Ziebell was 19 years old at the time of the crime, and had plans to attend college. He addressed the judge briefly during Thursday’s court hearing.
“All I wish to say is that I wish I had went to bed that day instead of going outside,” he said, adding that the incident had ruined his life. “It was dumb.”
Authorities said the victim had arrived at a nearby hotel to pickup his girlfriend. The man was walking toward the restaurant when he was jumped by three men, who then fled in a truck and convertible, according to the criminal complaint. The convertible, driven by Ziebell, was later located by an officer.
Ziebell will have to undergo a drug and alcohol abuse assessment, and follow through with any recommended treatment. He must pay court costs, restitution, and may have no contact with his victim or any codefendants.
“If you engage in this kind of conduct again, you’re not going to have a free or happy life,” Sauk County Circuit Court Judge Guy Reynolds said. “This is a chance for you.”
Cases against Ziebell’s codefendants, Andrew J. Turner, 30, of Baraboo, and Daniel S. Hall, 51, of Reedsburg, still are pending.
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