Trial starts for man accused of killing, hiding half-brother’s body

Jeffrey Vogelsberg faces mandatory life sentence if convicted
Trial starts for man accused of killing, hiding half-brother’s body
Jeffrey Vogelsberg

The trial started Tuesday for Jeffrey Vogelsberg who, is charged in the killing of his half-brother, Matthew Graville, in the summer of 2012.

Vogelsberg faces charges in the beating death of Graville, who was autistic, and burying his body near Lone Rock. He also faces charges for intimidating a witness, his grandfather, James Robar, who testified Tuesday.

Graville had been living with Vogelsberg. Robar renovated his Fort Atkinson home so Graville could move there, and when Graville suddenly vanished, Robar repeatedly asked Vogelsberg where he went.

Prosecutors said the beating came after years of abuse.

“Ladies and gentlemen, at the close of this trial when you’ve heard all this evidence, I will proudly and confidently stand before you and ask you to convict this defendant of first-degree intentional homicide,” Assistant Dane County District Attorney Robert Kaiser said.

The defense claims the two fought like any pair of brothers, and police should have looked at other suspects.

“Jeff was sort of more dominant. Jeff won most of these fights. Jeff pushed Matt around. But Jeff did not cause Matt’s death,” defense attorney David Karpe said.

Vogelsberg faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted. The trial could last into next week.