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Man sentenced to life without parole in murder of elderly landlord

MADISON (WKOW) — A judge has sentenced a man to life in prison without the chance for parole in the death of his elderly landlord.

John  “Jack” Hamann was sentenced Monday afternoon in Dane County Circuit Court. He was convicted in the death of 82-year-old Agnes Bram, his landlord in Middleton.

Hamann’s attorney had asked for the eligibility of parole, but Judge John Hyland said he could not grant that “in good conscience.”

“The sheer brutality of what occurred here is difficult to escape,” Judge Hyland told the court.

Hamann used a hammer or other similar object to hit Bram in the head more than half a dozen times, with her bloodied body discovered by a family member on the floor of the home’s garage in April of last year.

The victim’s granddaughter says the brutal killing still haunts her.

“How he beat a defenseless old lady from behind and continued while she was on the floor, dragging her out into the garage to avoid having to look at what he’s done,”  Kelly Etter testified Monday.

Hamann was also convicted of a felony in 2009, when he hit a neighbor over the head with baseball bat.

“You threatened your past landlord in January before you moved into my mom’s house, with a hunting knife,”  the victim’s daughter Rose Kelso testified.  “Your own mother didn’t want you living with her over fear you would hit her over the head.  You have no right to be released.”

“I had no motive to kill Agnes Bram,”  Hamann told the court Monday.  He maintains he was not involved, and said Monday he was shocked and angered by what happened.

During Hamann’s trial, a witness said Hamann conceded to him he was behind on rent.  Hamann also posted to social media a rant against women days before the killing.  Witnesses testified just before Hamann was arrested at UW Hospital, he told officers who had been searching for him in connection with the homicide he was the person they were looking for.

Officials say Hamann has struggled with alcoholism and mental health issues, but also helped ensure the continuation of a community garden project in Middleton with his volunteer work.


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Dani Maxwell

Dani Maxwell is the Assistant News Director for 27 WKOW.

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