MILWAUKEE (AP) — An Iraq War veteran charged with fatally shooting his wife, a suburban Milwaukee police officer, while she was on duty on Christmas Eve 2012 entered an insanity plea Friday.
Benjamin Sebena, 30, changed his plea to not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. Sebena will now undergo a mental examination by a court-appointed forensic psychiatrist to see if there is a basis to maintain the plea, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Prosecutors say Sebena, who earlier pleaded not guilty to first-degree intentional homicide, admitted ambushing his 30-year-old wife, Jennifer Sebena, while she conducted a pre-dawn patrol alone in Wauwatosa on Dec. 24.
According to the criminal complaint, Benjamin Sebena told investigators he had been stalking his wife and that he was a jealous husband.
Jennifer Sebena had told a colleague a few weeks earlier that her husband had acted violently toward her and put a gun to her head, prosecutors said. Detectives who searched the couple’s home found a gun with ammunition matching the bullet casings found at the scene. They also found Jennifer Sebena’s service weapon stashed in the attic.
Benjamin Sebena appeared at Friday’s brief hearing. Like at previous hearings, he wore a sleeveless, padded suicide-prevention gown, and was strapped into a wheelchair. He spoke only with his attorney, Michael Steinle.
Neither Steinle nor Assistant District Attorney Mark Williams spoke after the hearing.
Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Borowski wants the psychiatrist’s report on Benjamin Sebena returned to the court on April 26. The judge also set a July 8 trial date.
Benjamin Sebena, who is being held on $1 million cash bail, served two tours in Iraq with the U.S. Marine Corps. He was honorably discharged in 2005 after suffering severe arm and leg injuries in a mortar attack.
Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com