Janesville man pleads guilty in girlfriend’s death

Police found body hidden in couple's home
Janesville man pleads guilty in girlfriend’s death

A Janesville man accused of killing his girlfriend and hiding her body in their home has entered a guilty plea in Rock County Circuit Court.

Michael Paul pleaded guilty Tuesday to a charge of first-degree reckless homicide. He was originally charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.

Prosecutors said Paul beat his girlfriend Lisa Schaefer to death and hid her body under the stairs in the couple’s home in January. An autopsy indicated Schaefer died from blunt trauma to the head and neck.

Janesville police said Paul and the victim had been in a relationship for about two years.

The criminal complaint said that on the night Schaefer was killed, the two got into a fight and Paul allegedly told a friend, “I’m either going to end up in jail or she’ll end up 6 feet under.”

The complaint said Paul told police he decided to hide Schaefer’s body under the stairs while he figured out what to do.

Schaefer’s daughter called police to report her mother missing. A family member gave police information from a social website and officers executed a search warrant at the home, where officers found Schaefer’s body in the basement under the staircase.

Paul is due back in court on Nov. 21 for sentencing.