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updated: 2/21/2014 9:15 PM

Milwaukee man accepts plea deal for attack near Old Mill Creek

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  • Michael Highsmith

    Michael Highsmith


A Wisconsin man pleaded guilty to a single count of attempted murder for beating a former friend nearly to death and dumping his body in a wooded area near Old Mill Creek in April 2013.

Michael Highsmith, 24, was sentenced to 14 years in prison Tuesday after his negotiated plea deal in front of Lake County Judge James Booras.

Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Steve DeRue said Highsmith must serve 85 percent of the sentence before he will be eligible for parole.

He received 318 days of credit toward his sentence for time he served in Lake County jail while awaiting trial.

Highsmith, of Milwaukee, had pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder, armed robbery and aggravated battery following the attack on the 66-year-old friend from Genoa City, Wis.

Lake County sheriff's deputies said a passing motorist saw Highsmith covered in blood and the victim lying on the ground near a wooded area on Crawford Road about 1 p.m. on April 7, 2013.

Authorities said the victim suffered from a slashed throat, slashed eyelids, cut wrists, a dislocated shoulder and broken bones in the lower leg after Highsmith attacked him with a 1-inch knife from a corkscrew bottle opener.

Authorities said the victim's gold ring was found on Highsmith, a gold chain pulled off the victim's neck was found at the scene, and the victim's wallet was found in Highsmith's vehicle.

Police said Highsmith admitted to the attack and said he had known the victim for more than four years.

Had Highsmith been found guilty at trial, he could have been sentenced to between 6 to 30 years in prison.

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