Legare Pleads Guilty in Priest Attack

A Minnesota man has admitted to attacking a Catholic priest in his Anamoose church in January.
43-year-old Chad Legare was in a McHenry County courtroom this morning to change his plea.
Jim Olson was there and joins us live with the details.

Judge Donovan Foughty took pains to explain exactly what was happening today as Chad Legare prepared to change his plea on a charge of attempted murder.
Legare was told that, even though he was entering what’s called an Alford Plea where he contests some aspects of the charge, it is still an admission that a jury would likely find him guilty of the crime.

After that explanation, Legare said the single word, ‘guilty,’ when asked for his plea.
At that point the prosecution laid out the facts in the case – facts that show Legare committed a dangerous assault.

(Josh Frey, McHenry Co. State’s Attorney) “The defendant unleashed an assault on the victim which left the victim bloodied and bruised. But that was not all. During the attack, the defendant located a pair of speaker wires for a computer. The defendant wrapped those wires around the neck of the victim and twisted them together so that the victim could not remove them.”

The victim, Father Robert Wapenski, was in the courtroom in Towner today – the first time he’s listened in on the proceedings since the charges were brought.
It’s possible the priest will testify at the sentencing hearing this winter.

The plea deal worked out in the case calls for a Legare to spend no more than ten years in prison, followed by five years probation, although a pre-sentence investigation has been ordered.
Two other charges, aggravated assault and burglary, were dropped as part of the plea deal.

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