Janesville man sentenced to 60 years in prison for two Janesville attempted murders last April

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Andrea Anderson
Monday, April 7, 2014

JANESVILLE—Katrina Patrick said she felt as if Jeffrey J. Starkman always was watching her when she lived in Janesville.

After he attacked her with a roofing ax last April, she knew her instincts were right.

“I was property to him, nothing more,” Patrick said in a victim statement delivered in Rock County Court by phone Monday. “I want him to finally pay for what he's done.”

Judge James Daley sentenced Starkman to 60 years in prison and 20 years of extended supervision for the attempted murders of Patrick and Patrick's friend Jonathan Barthel on April 13, 2013.

Daley told Starkman he “can't take the chance you won't do it again.”

At a January trial, Starkman admitted smashing the roofing ax into the skulls of two people. He tried to convince the 12-person jury he didn't intend to kill the mother of his children and her friend.

The jury on Jan. 31 found Starkman, 35, of 2521 Bond Place, Janesville, guilty of the attempted murders.

The two attempted-murder charges each carried maximum penalties of 60 years in prison.

Starkman also was found guilty of burglary, fleeing and aggravated battery with intent to cause great bodily harm. Daley sentenced him to 10 years probation on those charges.

On the night of the attack, Starkman went to the apartment on South Main Street because he thought Patrick and Barthel were in a romantic relationship, police said.

He saw Patrick on the porch, where he hit her twice in the head with the roofing hammer, Richard Sullivan, assistant district attorney, said.

He left Patrick on the ground and went upstairs to the apartment and attacked Barthel. Patrick struck Barthel in the head and body numerous times with the same weapon, Sullivan said.

Starkman then left for Rockford, Ill., threw the weapon in the woods, returned to Janesville the next day and led police on a chase on Interstate 90/39 at speeds exceeding 100 mph, Sullivan said.

In court Monday, Sullivan said he knew three things about Starkman: He was controlling, he wanted to kill and he wanted to get away with it.

“If he couldn't have Katie Patrick, then nobody could have Katie Patrick,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan credited the medical staff for the survival of Patrick and Barthel, saying that without their care the case would have been a double homicide.

Before being sentenced, Starkman apologized to the victims, their families and his family.

“I'm very sorry for the physical and emotional trauma I have caused,” Starkman said.

Later he added, “I'm willing to accept anything the court deems necessary.” 

A presentence investigation showed Starkman has a history of domestic abuse, Daley said.

In her victim's statement, Patrick said she spent five years being hit in the head, thrown across rooms and screamed at before she and Starkman separated.

Starkman performed a “form of mind control” in his intimate relationships, Daley said, adding that Starkman is a “genuinely good person outside of personal relationships.”

What caused the attack is hard to determine, both Daley and defense attorney Walter Isaacson said.

“I don't think anyone here can explain this attack … it was a terrible assault which came out of the blue for both of the victims,” Daley said.

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