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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Youth charged in bloody slaying

11-8-2006 Wisconsin:

A 15-year-old boy was charged with bludgeoning a man to death with a hammer after the man said he would pay him to pose nude and then asked the boy for sex, according to a criminal complaint issued today. Corey J Kleser was charged as an adult with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Ronald O Adams, 57. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of life in prison. According to the complaint:

Kleser told police that he had gone to Adams' residence in the 7100 block of N. 60th St. on Oct. 29 because Adams had offered him $40 to $50 to model nude in front of him. When Adams wanted to have sex, Kleser said, there was a physical altercation and he hit Adams in the head more than eight times with a hammer until Adams fell to the floor. He told police he then grabbed a scissors and stabbed Adams in the neck multiple times.

Adams' body was discovered by the building manager, who used her pass key to enter his apartment Friday after residents reported not seeing him for several days. A security camera in the common hallway taped Adams walking into his apartment with Kleser at 1:49 a.m. on Oct. 29 and Kleser leaving the apartment about an hour later.

Within hours after the slaying, the boy called his father and asked for a ride home to Fox Point from the area of W. Mill Rd. and N. Green Bay Ave, the petition states. The father, who was interviewed by police on Saturday, said he had noticed that there was "a large amount of blood splattered" on his son's blue-and-white plaid shirt. ..more.. by Mary Zahn, JS Online


Jury deliberating hammer homicide case


The prosecutor in the Corey Kleser trial told jurors Friday that even they believe he was fearful of his victim, he's still gulty because he went way too far for any legitimate self defense.

"He had many otheroptions," said Assistant District Attorney Kevin Shomin in closing argument. "He didn't have to do what he did."

Kleser, then 15, struck Ronald O Adams, 57, more than 20 times with a hammer, and stabbed him more than 30 times with scissors in October 2006. The case is only now going to trial because of disputes over whether Kleser would be tried as a juvenile or adult. The state Supreme Court ruled that he must be tried as an adult.

In his closing, Shomin recounted the severity of Adams' injuries, and suggested they were not inflicted because Kleser truly feared for his safety during a surprise attempted sexual assault and physical attack, as he testified, but because Kleser was just angry at Adams over money.

Kleser's attorney, Samuel Benedict, told jurors that when children's parents can't or won't protect them, chldren "have to do what they can to survive."

He reminded the jury about an expert's testimony about how a 15-year-old's brain hasn't fully developed in areas that control impulse and reaction to stress and danger.

"What Corey did that night was reasonable," Benedict said. "The danger was real. He didn't have time to think about escape. It was a time for reacting."

Kleser is charged with first degree intentional homicide. The jury could find him guilty of second degree intentional, first degree reckless or second degree reckless homicide instead, or acquit him of any charges if they accept his self-defense argument.


Corey Kleser tried to tell a jury Friday how, when he was 15, he wound up killing a man with dozens of hammer blows and scissor stabs.

Now 21, Kleser calmly described his confusion and fear after a surprise sexual attack by Ronald O. Adams, a 57-year-old man for whom he said he had modeled nude for money -- and without any touching or even talk of sex -- in the past.

Early on Oct. 29, 2006, Adams pressed him to "try something different," and jumped on Kleser's back when he kept saying no, Kleser said.

He said Adams wrestled him and was choking him over a desk when Kleser grabbed a nearby hammer and began striking Adams. He said when Adams finally went down, he also fell to the floor to pull up his own jeans, but thought he saw Adams moving for the hammer. That's when Kleser said he grabbed scissors that were on the floor of Adams' bedroom, and stabbed him repeatedly.

He followed up with an explanation of how his friends and family didn't seem to believe him when he told them later that morning that he might have killed someone, that they didn't ask any questions despite the blood on his shirt.

If the testimony helped his self-defense, the theory then took some hard shots during Assistant District Attorney Kevin Shomin's cross-examination.

He suggested Kleser was a cold-blooded killer who thought he could rob Adams, who others described as a frail crackhead, not someone who could easily overpower Kleser just because of their age difference.

Shomin pointed out the many variations in Kleser's account to detectives in 2006, and how his testimony Friday added more new details. He asked how Kleser's jeans had so much blood on the thigh if they were in fact bunched around his ankles during the attack.

He asked Kleser why he washed off the hammer and scissors after the attacks, and returned to Adams' bedroom to look for money if he had been so afraid of him and what had just happened.

Kleser said he took the weapons because he thought it was safer than leaving them near Adams. He said they just got rinsed coincidentally when he washed his hands. He said by the time he went looking for cab fare, he was finally pretty sure Adams was no longer a threat.

He denied taking Adams' prescription pills, the bottles for which were later found in Kleser's father's car, saying that Adams had given them to him during an earlier meeting, and said he could take them to get high.

Shomin also displayed a photo of the bloody crime scene that included a clean piece of paper near Adams' body. On it was written the word "Surrendered."

"You didn't write this and throw it down next to him?" Shomin asked.

Kleser said he had not, but admitted it was a very unusual thing to find there.

His apartment manager discovered Adams' body in his unit five days after he was killed. ..Source.. by Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel

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