MANITOWOC — Joseph K. Baer may have been in and out of trouble much of his life, but he didn’t deserve to die the brutal way that he did, said his mother, LouAnn Baer of rural St. Nazianz.
The 37-year-old Manitowoc man’s body was found Saturday at a rural residence south of Brillion. Robert Saurbeir, 29, of Manitowoc, and James Loewe, 33, of Hilbert, are charged with beating him to death with several objects, including a metal pipe and hammer, during a night of drinking.
Baer was released from Manitowoc County Jail just two days before he was killed in Calumet County.
LouAnn Baer spoke Tuesday of her reaction when she was told of her son’s death on Sunday afternoon.
“I cracked. I cried and I cried. (Monday) didn’t help when they said they found a chain with blood on it and a hammer,” she said. “They claimed they were his friends.”
His death was any mother’s nightmare.
“I’m just imagining how he felt, being beaten to death,” Baer said. “I’m just imagining him saying stop, stop, stop. I can see him. I’m crying a lot. I’m angry and upset … he did not deserve to die like that. Nobody does. Nobody does.”
Joseph Baer grew up and lived in the St. Nazianz area most of his life, first with his mother and father and then, when they divorced in 1987, with his father, she said.
His father, who changed his name from Herbert A. Baer to Elvis A. Presley, died in 2004.
LouAnn Baer spoke of her son’s childhood.
“He was a sweet kid when he wanted to be but he had an awesome temper. He had to have it his way,” she said. “He had a hard time getting along and studying. He was a hyper child.”
Her son started his education at Riverview School and continued it in prison, she said.
“He was in detention and jail and prison all his adult life,” LouAnn Baer said. “I’ll grant you he was rowdy …. In all, he could be a very, very sweet person. He wasn’t all bad. He was more misunderstood.”
Joseph Baer had an extensive criminal record, said Capt. Scott Luchterhand of the Manitowoc Police Department.
Most recently he was in jail on extended supervision starting Jan. 29, said Jason Jost, Manitowoc County Jail administrator.
According to Manitowoc County Circuit Court records, Baer was sentenced to prison on felony burglary charges in 1999 and again in 2006. Baer had other criminal convictions in Manitowoc County, including for theft, negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property.
Baer also was a registered sex offender, convicted on Jan. 2, 1992, of sexual assault of a child, according to Wisconsin Department of Corrections records. ..Source.. by Suzanne Weiss, Herald Times Reporter