UPDATE: Jury finds Michael Haydon guilty of 2003 murder - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Jury finds Michael Haydon guilty of 2003 murder

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PORTAGE COUNTY (WAOW) -- A Portage County jury convicts Michael Haydon of murdering truck driver, Pat Zemke, back in 2003.

On Tuesday, the prosecution and defense presented their closing arguments to the jury.

The district attorney reminded jurors of testimony from earlier in the trial, when men who spent time with Haydon in the Marathon County jail said Haydon told them he committed the murder.

The defense maintained that none of the physical evidence collected in the case could link Haydon to the crime scene.

After a couple hours of deliberation, the jury found Haydon guilty of first degree intentional homicide.

Members of Zemke's family said they were confident in the prosecution this time around, even though the case had been dismissed once before.

"You feel a lot of the justice, watching the handcuffs go on the defendant," said Rachel Kressel, Pat Zemke's niece. "You feel the more powerful, relieved. You feel like something has actually been accomplished because you felt so powerless this whole time."

"We put all of our trust into the district attorney and his office and we know that the detectives did a wonderful job," said Emily Nowak, who is engaged to Pat Zemke's son.

They said they've been waiting to hear a verdict for years and now that they have this closure, they can move forward with their lives.

"Towards the end is when I started to feel more angry and angrier that this person had committed a crime against my family member and that this person wasn't innocent,"  said Kressel.

District attorney Tom Eagon said the three inmates who testified were the key to getting the conviction. Defense attorney Jeff Jazgar declined comment after the judge announced the verdict.

Zemke's family said they plan to put this behind them now but still keep the memory of Pat alive.

Sentencing for Haydon is scheduled for July 15th at the Portage County Courthouse. Haydon is already serving time for a sexual assault conviction in Marathon County.

Online Reporter: Anna Carrera

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