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John Balistreri, accused of beating his father to death with 2×4, reaches plea deal

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MILWAUKEE COUNTY — A man accused of beating his own father to death with a two-by-four has reached a plea deal in the case against him.

John Balistreri

John Balistreri

41-year-old John Balistreri on Wednesday, October 28th pleaded guilty to a felony charge of first degree reckless homicide.

He will be sentenced on January 15th, and has been remanded into custody pending that sentencing hearing.

Balistreri initially pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect in this case. A doctor was then appointed to perform an evaluation on Balistreri.

The criminal complaint in this case indicates the alleged crime happened on 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.”

77-year-old John B. Balistreri died in this incident.

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