- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 14, 2014

WEST BEND, Wis. (AP) - A judge on Tuesday sentenced a 20-year-old Wisconsin man to life in prison with no chance of parole for the 2013 strangulation of a former high school classmate in her bedroom.

Daniel Bartelt of Richfield was given the mandatory life sentence after being convicted of killing 19-year-old Jessie Blodgett, an aspiring actress and musician. But citing aggravating factors, the judge exercised his discretion to deny Bartelt any eligibility for release under extended supervision.

Washington County Circuit Judge Todd Martens said he found Bartelt too dangerous to ever be considered for supervised release, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1sE2Jyc ) reported.

Bartelt continued to maintain his innocence when he addressed Blodgett’s parents in court.

“I can’t give you the answers you’re looking for,” he said.

Bartelt and Blodgett had been classmates at Hartford Union High School.

Blodgett, a music teacher and college student, had attended a cast party for a production of “Fiddler on the Roof” the night before she was killed in July 2013. Blodgett’s mother found her dead in bed that afternoon, just hours after hearing her return from the party early that morning. The teen had rope marks on her neck and left wrist, and an autopsy determined she had been bound and strangled, according to court documents.

In August, a jury convicted Bartelt of first-degree intentional homicide.

The victim’s father, Buck Blodgett, spoke about his daughter in court Tuesday, reading from the thousands of cards and letters her friends had sent the family.

“Dan, I forgive you,” Bluck Blodgett told Bartelt, later adding: “I not only forgive you, I love you.” But he told Bartelt that he won’t “know or feel forgiveness until you tell the truth.”

After the hearing, Buck Blodgett hugged Bartelt’s parents, who did not speak at the sentencing or to reporters afterward.

___

Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, https://www.jsonline.com

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