Jury discharged in Berit Beck murder trial

Posted at 11:37 AM, Jun 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-29 18:26:55-04

FOND DU LAC -- A Fond du Lac County judge Wednesday discharged the jury in the trial over the 1990 murder of Berit Beck after jurors weren't able to reach a verdict.

Deliberations began Monday after closing arguments, and as of Tuesday afternoon jurors still couldn't decide if suspect Dennis Brantner was guilty or not guilty. At that time, Judge Gary Sharpe granted the jury a third day to deliberate.

But shortly after 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, the jury delivered another note to the judge, telling him "we cannot agree."

Judge Sharpe brought the jury back into the courtroom and asked them if there was a reasonable probability they could reach a verdict. When the jury said no, they were dismissed.

The case remains open in Fond du Lac County.

Beck was traveling from her home in Sturtevant to Appleton for a work seminar when she disappeared. Her van was found a few days later in a Fond du Lac parking lot, but her body wasn't found until more than a month later in a ditch in Fond du Lac County.

Authorities who re-examined the cold case say they matched fingerprints on evidence recovered from Beck's van to Brantner.