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Sparta man goes to prison for life, for killing step-grandfather with an ax



A mandatory life sentence, plus other prison terms, is the punishment for a Sparta man convicted of a deadly ax attack. 

A Monroe County judge has ordered Thomas Aspseter to life in prison without early release for the 2021 death of his 87-year-old step-grandfather. 


Bernard Waite was killed, and two other people were injured, when Aspseter struck them with an ax in a surprise attack at his grandmother’s home. 

At sentencing on Wednesday, Judge Todd Ziegler called Aspseter selfish and remorseless.

It happened a few days after Waite told Aspseter to move out of the house.

Aspseter was also sentenced to two consecutive prison terms of 40 years each, to follow the life sentence, and two shorter prison terms for lesser charges. 

A Monroe County jury convicted Aspseter at a trial last summer. 

Aspseter was given credit for 577 days spent behind bars since the attack.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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