The Waukesha man accused of repeatedly striking his wife in the head with a wrench to prevent her from leaving him is scheduled to end his case with a plea next week.
Peter Slesar, 66, is scheduled to appear for his plea hearing on Tuesday, July 18, in Waukesha County Circuit Court. He's facing an attempted first-degree homicide charge that carries a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison.
Slesar was charged in early February, one day after he reportedly told a dispatcher that he attacked his then-68-year-old wife, Catherine, with a wrench inside their home on Maplewood Terrace, apparently out of fear that she might leave him.
Officers found Catherine Slesar on the floor of a hallway in the home, begging for help in a pool of her own blood, according to a criminal complaint. She reportedly told police that she thought Peter hit her "maybe 20 times" with the wrench.
The complaint said Peter Slesar told officers he had had trouble managing his depression for several months leading up to the attack. That and conversations with his wife had led him to believe she was thinking about separating from him, he said.
Catherine Slesar suffered numerous injuries as a result of the beating, including a gash on her head so large and deep that a portion of her skull was showing, the complaint said. However, her condition stabilized a short while after she was rushed to the hospital.
Court records indicate Slesar attempted to enter a plea June 30, but withdrew it shortly after.