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Hung Jury Declared in Brantner Case

Judge Sharpe dismissed the jury in the Brantner case after the foreperson said the jury could not reach an agreement.

The judge declared it a hung jury.

The case remains open in Fond du Lac County.

Dennis Brantner was charged with first degree murder.

"I am on uncharted grounds here in my career,” said Judge Sharpe.

The jury had been called back into the courtroom on Wednesday in the Berit Beck case.

One of the jurors went to the emergency room Tuesday night, and Judge Sharpe said he could to be there on Wednesday.

The defense was concerned the juror’s health would affect their decision making skills.

The jury wrote a note to the judge Wednesday morning that they were having difficultly deciding if Brantner is guilty of reckless or intentional homicide.

But Brantner was only charged with murder and not the lesser charge. 

"I am very proud of your service and I am proud of our county,” said Judge Sharpe to the jury.

During opening arguments Assistant Fond Du Lac County District Attorney Dennis Kreuger said Berit Beck's body would be found by a farmer a month later in a ditch. The van was recovered with 460 new miles on the odometer in a Kmart parking lot.

Fingerprints on items recovered from that vehicle only as recently as 2014 have been identified as those of Dennis Brantner, prosecutors said.

For the victim's family the trial brought back sad memories from July 17, 1990 the last day any of them saw her.

"She said 'Oh don't worry dad. All the people up north are good'," a tearful David Beck, Berit's father, said while on the stand.

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