WAUSAU — An argument by one of two men convicted in the savage beating death of a 49-year-old Wausau man will not get a new sentencing hearing, after an appeals court in September ruled against him.
Zacharly Froehlich was 18 when he and another man, then-20-year-old Warren Krohn, robbed and beat Kerby Kniess in June 2012 in a garage on the 100 Block of North 7th Avenue in Wausau.
Froehlich admitted to police he was the one who held the baseball bat and swung the fatal blows to Kniess, but said he was encouraged to do so by Krohn. The pair went to Kneiss’ home to rob him of alcohol, cigarettes and cash, according to the complaint. They reportedly stole $21.
In November 2014, as part of a plea agreement, Froehlich was sentenced to 35 years initial confinement, followed by 15 years extended supervision.
Froehlich’s attorney, Ralph J. Sczygelski, appealed, based on the theory that then-District Attorney Ken Heimerman breached the plea agreement by arguing for a maximum sentence for Froehlich at the original hearing. The agreement called for Heimerman to cap his recommendation to 40 years initial confinement followed by 10 years extended supervision in exchange for a plea.
Heimerman retired in 2016.
According to the court transcript, at Froehlich’s sentencing hearing, Heimerman stated:
“This crime makes a lot of first-degree intentional homicides, it puts some of them to shame. The violence is equal to it, and again, according to Dr. Corliss, this even surpasses some intentional physical beatings, and the depravity of what happened and why it happened…is almost…you could say is unmatched. That Kerby Kniess died for these reasons, under these circumstances, is simply outrageous, and it’s for these reasons, Judge, that I am asking you to impose the maximum sentence. He deserves it. He has earned it.”
But judges rejected Sczygelski’s argument in September and ruled that even if a breach did occur, the breach would have been technical and did not warrant a new hearing.
Froehlich is currently incarcerated at Green Bay Correctional Institution, according to Wisconsin Prison System records.
Krohn is serving a sentence of 25 years in prison followed by 8 1/2 years of extended supervision for his role in the crime.