Man pleads not guilty to beating his own father to death with 2×4

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John Balistreri

John Balistreri

MILWAUKEE (WITI) — 40-year-old John E. Balistreri of Milwaukee pleaded not guilty on Friday, April 24th to a charge of first-degree reckless homicide in the death of his own father, 77-year-old John B. Balistreri. The court also bound Balistreri over for trial.

The criminal complaint in this case indicates the alleged crime happened on Friday, April 10th at a home near 13th and Lincoln on the city’s south side.

In the complaint, Balisteri told investigators he “beat (his father) due to what the victim did to his mother in the past and for ‘talking disrespectful’” to his fiancée. The complaint indicates Balistreri “snapped” after a comment was made — and that is when he first “grabbed the victim by the front of the neck…and forcibly pushed (him) against the refrigerator in the kitchen.”

The complaint says Balistreri admitted to punching his father. He also told investigators “he picked up a 2×4 piece of wood and struck his father.” Balistreri “denied kicking the victim at any time but admitted that he was wearing steel-toed boots at the time.”

After the beating, Balistreri told police he then took a cell phone photograph of the victim “just to have one.”

Balistreri told investigators “he gave the victim a couple of ‘good cracks’ with the intent of “scaring” the victim but did not mean to kill the victim.” He went on to state that “he has anger issues and would like psychiatric treatment.”

If convicted, Balistreri faces up to 60 years in prison.


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