Wisconsin murderer denied appeal

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com January 16 2003 1:00 AM ET

One of two men convicted in the fatal stabbing of an AIDS activist five years ago in Green Bay, Wis., failed Tuesday to convince a state appeals court to reduce his life prison sentence. The third district court of appeals upheld Daniel R. Chipman's conviction on a charge of being party to first-degree intentional homicide in Jeff Wahlen's death. Wahlen, 45, a gay youth outreach worker for Lutheran Social Services in Marinette, Wis., was found dead June 24, 1997, at a Motel 6 in Green Bay. He was stabbed at least 50 times. Chipman, 32, pleaded no contest to the murder charge and was sentenced to life in prison with no eligibility for parole until 2026.

In the appeal decided Tuesday, Chipman argued that Brown County circuit judge Donald Zuidmulder abused his discretion in the sentence. The appeals court disagreed. Paul Foss, 28, was also sentenced to life in prison in Wahlen's murder and is ineligible for parole until 2051. Chipman was arrested in June 2000 after the FBI received a letter detailing the killing from Foss, who was in prison for an unrelated armed robbery.