A Brookfield man accused of murdering a 71-year-old Cambridge, Wis., woman in March has pleaded no contest to first-degree homicide charges and faces life in prison.
James A. Hole, 35, entered the plea at a hearing in Jefferson County Circuit Court yesterday in Jefferson, Wis. before Judge Jacqueline Erwin, who found Hole guilty of the murder of Ann B. Nelson, a local real estate agent on March 18.
Three other charges, including arson and two burglary counts were dismissed by the court.
The conviction means that, at a minimum, Hole will spend the next 20 years in prison without the possibility of parole. The judge also has the ability to sentence Hole, a registered sex offender who served 10 years in Illinois prison for the attempted rape and stabbing of a woman in 1995, to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Sentencing will be carried out on Jan. 26, 2009.
Hole, who lived in an apartment in the 4400 block of Eberly Ave. at the time of the murder, set up an appointment with Nelson to view a home in Cambridge on the afternoon of March 18.
While inside the home, Hole strangled Nelson with her scarf and beat her over the head with a fireplace poker. Nelson died of smoke inhalation, according to an autopsy by JeffersonCounty coroner.
In order to cover up the beating, prosecutors also charged that Hole set the house on fire.