Kleser sentenced to 25 years for hammer beating, stabbing

MILWAUKEE — 21-year-old Corey Kleser was sentenced Friday, June 15th to 25 years in prison for killing a man with a hammer and scissors in 2006.

Kleser was 15 years old in 2006 when he killed 57-year-old Ronald Adams in Adams’ Milwaukee apartment.

Kleser testified he killed Adams in self-defense after Adams tried to force the teen into having sex with him. Kleser said at least six times during that summer, Adams paid him to pose nude. Kleser testified it wasn’t until the day of the murder that Adams pushed for sex.

Prosecutors said Kleser’s attack was too vicious to be justified. Kleser hit Adams more than 20 times with a hammer and stabbed him more than 30 times with scissors. Judge Richard Sankovitz said Friday the level of violence factored into the sentence.

“(Hammer blows 1-10) through 11, through 15, through 17, through 20? That’s not impulsiveness, that’s cruelty,” Sankovitz said.

The state originally charged with Kleser with first-degree intentional homicide which comes with a mandatory life sentence. However, the jury found him guilty of second-degree intentional homicide.

Kleser told the judge he’d matured in the six years following the killing. He said he understood the impact of his actions but also felt he had to choice but to protect himself.

“I’m sorry for Mr. Adams and I’m sorry for his family but it’s just, under the circumstances, I can’t say anything more than that,” Kleser said.

Sankovitz said Kleser’s statement indicated a lack of remorse which also influenced the sentence.

“You don’t get a break in your responsibility for killing him just because you were 15,” Sankovitz said.

Kleser was sentenced Friday to serve 20 of the 25 years in prison and the other five under extended supervision. He received credit for the 1,800 days (nearly five years) he has already served.

A Milwaukee County judge originally ruled Kleser should be charged as a juvenile. In 2010, the state Supreme Court overruled the circuit court and Kleser stood trial as an adult.

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