Janesville64°

Koepp to pay for funerals

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Ted Sullivan
May 25, 2010
— At his expected wage of 30 cents an hour, triple homicide convict James Koepp will have to work full time in prison for nearly 10 years to pay back funeral costs for his victims.

Koepp, 51, was ordered Monday to pay the state about $6,000 in restitution to cover $2,000 in expenses for each victim's funeral as part of a compensation fund.


Koepp was charged with the January 2007 stabbings and strangulations of Danyetta Lentz and her teenage children, Nicole and Scott, in a mobile home park outside Janesville.


Koepp was convicted in February of three charges of first-degree intentional homicide after a trial in Rock County Court. He was sentenced to three life terms with no chance for parole.


In court Monday, Koepp's attorney, Walter Isaacson, said Koepp had no way to repay the money because he will be incarcerated for life. He said any money Koepp earns should go to child support.


Koepp shouldn't have to pay restitution to the state because inmates working in prison save the state money compared to hiring outside contractors, Isaacson said. Koepp also would be working for the state to pay back the state.


District Attorney David O'Leary said Koepp might have a limited ability to pay, but he still has the ability to pay. He said Koepp would be in prison a long time.


Judge Alan Bates said Koepp's life expectancy is another 30 years. He said Koepp could pay child support and restitution in his lifetime.


Koepp appeared in court via telephone from the prison in Waupun.


He was arrested five days after the murders when he fled police. He and the Lentzes lived in the same mobile home park.



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