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Janesville man gets 45 years in prison for fatal shooting

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Ted Sullivan
April 29, 2011
— In a moment of rage, two lives changed forever, two families lost fathers, and a community lost its sense of safety.

James Humphrey, 45, of Janesville was a good father, a hard worker and a loyal friend who supported his loved ones, according to statements in court Friday by friends and family.


Sam Aegerter, 30, of Janesville adored his young children, had a big heart and a wide smile that could light up a room, his family members said.


By most accounts, both were good men.


But on June 4, they crossed paths in a dispute at Five Points intersection. Humphrey was riding a motorcycle, and Aegerter was in a Jeep.


Humphrey shot Aegerter twice, ending Aegerter’s life and ruining his own.


The random violence of the homicide made many Janesville residents worry that no one was safe in the city, attorneys said.


Humphrey was sentenced Friday in Rock County Court to 45 years in prison and 10 years extended supervision for first-degree reckless homicide, amounting to what will likely be a life sentence.


The courtroom was packed with people standing in the back. Framed pictures of Aegerter with his kids were displayed. Loved ones wore T-shirts in Aegerter’s memory.


Aegerter’s friends and family cried and clapped when Judge Kenneth Forbeck exceeded the plea agreement that asked for a 20-year prison sentence. Some of Humphrey’s family members abruptly left the courtroom.


Forbeck had to restore order and asked people to quiet down. He said the plea agreement was not in the public’s interest.


“This was a senseless act. It was an intentional act by pointing a gun at a vehicle with human beings in it. It was not an accident,” Forbeck said.


For a full story, read Saturday's Gazette, read online in the Gazette's E-Edition or check back at Gazettextra.com



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