Convicted killer seeks new trialThe man convicted for the 2006 murder of his midtown neighbor is seeking a new trial. A Wauwatosa attorney filed a motion Thursday on behalf of Jason Richard Borelli, 33.
By: Shelley Nelson, The Daily Telegram
The man convicted for the 2006 murder of his midtown neighbor is seeking a new trial. A Wauwatosa attorney filed a motion Thursday on behalf of Jason Richard Borelli, 33.
Borelli was convicted during a two-part trial in November 2006. Jurors found him guilty of first-degree intentional homicide in connection with the brutal killing of 29-year-old Leah Gustafson. Borelli, who pleaded not guilty by reason of mental defect, was also found to be mentally competent.
Attorney James Rebholz of Wauwatosa cites ineffective legal counsel as the reason for seeking a new trial, a common claim made by defendants convicted of murder. The defense lacked forensic support, was unreasonably inconsistent with evidence Borelli was intoxicated with both alcohol and crack cocaine at the time of the murder, and there was no support for conviction of a lesser degree in connection with the crime, the motion contends.
“There was ample evidence of Borelli’s reckless intoxication and relevant psycho-social history to support the lesser-included defense of first degree reckless homicide,” Rebholz wrote in the motion. “Failure to seek submission of first-degree reckless homicide to the jury was not harmless given Borelli’s forensically diagnosed ‘impulsivity’ and given the lack of any reasonable support for the lesser-included offense submitted.”
Borelli had an extensive criminal record that included other incidents of violence against women, and violence against women he didn’t know prior to the 2006 homicide. Following the murder, his grandmother said Borelli had been unable to afford medications that aided with his mental illness.
In addition to the motion for a new trial, Borelli is asking the court to modify his sentence
About a year ago, Borelli was sentenced to life in prison without extended supervision, a sentence that his attorney calls “harsh and excessive.”
No hearing has been scheduled to consider the motion.
Judge Michael Lucci, who originally presided over the trial and determined the sentence, wrote a letter advising Borelli’s attorney to contact his office in the next two or three weeks to set a time for a scheduling conference. The public hearing for the motion would be determined during the scheduling conference.