A former Bruce man pleaded no contest on Wednesday in Rusk County Circuit Court to one count of first degree recklessly endangering safety for his connection to the death of Jeffrey Putbrese, 28, of Hudson.
Sean M. Grosskreutz, 32, appeared in custody in court Oct. 30 and entered a no contest plea to one count. In the agreement, Grosskreutz had four other counts dismissed but read in, including one felony count of burglary of a building or dwelling as a party to a crime, one count theft of movable property <= $2,500 as a party to a crime, possession of methamphetamine as a party to a crime and one count possession of drug paraphernalia. Each charge also had a repeater modifier.
The maximum sentence for one count of first degree recklessly endangering safety, as a repeater, is 18.5 years incarceration or $25,000.
The recommended sentence is an imposed and stayed 12.5 years in the Wisconsin prison system which consists of 7.5 years incarceration and five years extended supervision. The agreement places Grosskreutz on five years probation consecutive to the extended supervision he is currently serving. He has 165 days served credit if he is revoked while on probation.
While on probation, Grosskreutz cannot have contact with any individuals known to use, possess or distribute illegal substances, with the exception of individuals who are sober and actively involved in treatment. Grosskreutz will be required to provide a DNA sample and pay the surcharge.
District Attorney Annette Barna read a victim impact statement written by the mother of the victim, Jeffrey Putbrese. In the statement, Putbrese’s mother said, “he should be charged with murder because that’s what he did…even the wrong charge is better than no charge.” She said Putbrese struggled with addiction but was a good man and wanted to get clean and rejoin his family.
Barna spoke of the seriousness of the offense. Grosskreutz is accused of providing Putbrese with methamphetamine and after several failed attempts of Putbrese administering himself, Grosskreutz assisted Putbrese with administering the drug. Later in the evening after Putbrese had left Grosskreutz’s residence, law enforcement responded to a fire at a mink ranch in the township of Stubbs.
Hours later, Putbrese’s body was found in the burned building. Toxicology reports indicated Putbrese died of thermal injuries and inhalation of products of combustion from the fire with methamphetamine a contributing factor.
Barna told the court that since Grosskreutz turned 25 years old, he has been incarcerated three times but never long enough to address treatment or rehabilitation needs. Multiple times while on extended supervision, Grosskreutz revoked his status before treatment or rehabilitation could take place.
Barna said, “Grosskreutz has significant rehabilitation needs.”
The seriousness of the offense makes Grosskreutz a danger to himself and to the public, according to Barna. The agreement for five years probation takes into consideration Grosskreutz’s lack of treatment.
Grosskreutz was scheduled for an assessment to take place on Wednesday, and when released, would be enrolled in an intensive outpatient treatment to address his needs.
Rusk County Circuit Court Judge Steven Anderson ordered a pre-sentence investigation to learn more about Grosskreutz before making a sentencing decision.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 8 in Rusk County Circuit Court.