Defendant in beating death changes plea

CHILTON, Wis. (AP) — One of two defendants charged with fatally beating a man at a farm in Calumet County has changed his plea.

Robert Saurbeir changed the plea to not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect at a court appearance Thursday. Prosecutors say Saurbeir and James Loewe killed Joseph Baer at a Rantoul residence in March 2011. Authorities say Baer was beaten with a hammer, pipe, stick and chain.

Saurbeir is scheduled to stand trial April 30. WLUK-TV says a plea agreement apparently has been reached for Loewe, who’s expected to enter a plea Feb. 21.