February 13, 2016

Guilty plea in murder of Wauwatosa police officer

The husband of a Wauwatosa police officer killed in the line of duty has agreed to a plea deal that could see him eventually released from prison. Under the deal announced Wednesday, 30-year-old Ben Sebena agreed to plead guilty to a charge of first degree intentional homicide. The conviction carries a sentence of life in prison, but a judge could set a minimum release date for after he has served at least 20 years.

Sebena had originally pleaded insanity in the murder of his wife, 30-year-old Jennifer Sebena. The guilty plea comes after two doctors determined that, while the Iraq War veteran suffered from mental health issues, it was unlikely he would end up serving time in a mental institution instead of a prison.

Jennifer Sebena was shot and killed in the early morning hours of Christmas Eve last year, after she was ambushed while walking back to her squad car. The investigation showed that she had been shot multiple times, with several of the rounds coming from her own service weapon. Ben Sebena admitted to waiting for his wife outside of a fire station while she was on break, then opening fire on her and taking her gun. A search warrant later located Officer Sebena’s service weapon in the attic of the couple’s home, which had been missing from the crime scene.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors are recommending that Sebena spend at least 50 to 60 years in prison before he is made eligible for supervised release. He will be sentenced on August 9th.

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