Hearing set in domestic homicide

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Friday, August 17, 2012

— A Rock County judge next month will consider motions filed in the case of a Janesville man accused of fatally beating his girlfriend and hiding her body under the basement stairs.

Michael R. Paul, 36, of 326 Parker Drive, Janesville, was charged in January with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.

His attorneys have filed motions to dismiss the homicide charge and exclude from trial the evidence collected during the Jan. 10 execution of a search warrant at Paul's home near downtown Janesville.

Police Jan. 10 arrested Paul after finding the body of Lisa M. Schaefer, 49, hidden behind screens, piles of clothing and other items in the home. Police found Schaefer while executing the search warrant. Her family reported her missing Jan. 8.

Police think Paul killed Schaefer on Jan. 7.

Her wounds could have been made by someone who sat on her chest and pummeled her, a forensic pathologist said in court. She died of a hemorrhage at the base of her skull, the pathologist said.

Paul in March pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Paul's attorneys, public defenders Laura Breun and Cynthia Stoppel, in late July filed a motion to suppress evidence collected during the search warrant execution.

When writing the affidavit for the search warrant, Janesville police failed to include information that would have made the search warrant unnecessary, according to the attorneys' motion.

The affidavit, which was written Jan. 10, does not state that an officer had searched the home Jan. 9 and found nothing suspicious, according to the motion.

In late July, the district attorney's office also filed a motion to limit or admit some testimony from the trial.

Among other things, the prosecution wants the court to allow investigative documents created by Detective Michael Duerr as well as testimony Duerr gave in January at Paul's preliminary hearing.

Duerr died in April.

In February, Paul's attorneys filed motions to dismiss the homicide charge. The attorneys argue that the criminal complaint filed by the Rock County District Attorney's Office is defective. The complaint fails to show that Paul intended to kill Schafer, according to the motion.

The motion hearing is scheduled Sept. 4. A jury trial is scheduled Nov. 12.

Last updated: 5:08 pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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