Both suspects give chilling testimony in Paape trial

CREATED Jun. 19, 2013 - UPDATED: Jun. 19, 2013

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  • Photo: Nathan Paape Image by Butch Jorgenson - Journal Sentinel

SHEBOYGAN - Emotional and compelling testimony came Wednesday in a Sheboygan County courtroom.

Two teenagers, Nathan Paape and Antonio Barbeau, took the stand in Paape's trial where he's accused of brutally beating and killing Barbeau's great-grandmother, Barbara Olson.

"We were going to try to scare her and use force if needed," said Barbeau.

He previously pleaded no contest mto the crime, but said he was not required to testify under his plea agreement.

Barbeau testified that the weekend before the murder, he and Paape had discussed ways to get money.

When he said his great-grandmother had it,  they asked his mom for a ride to "a friend's house."

She dropped him off where they asked, and they walked two miles to the home.

Barbeau continued by saying that he had a hatchet and Paape had a hammer, and they hit his great-grandmother multiple times.

"I looked to Nate and nodded and shook my head as in, 'Yes or no?'  He nodded, and I took the first swing," said Barbeau.

The boys apparently went to great lengths to cover their tracks, allegedly buying cleaning supplies to wipe down Olson's car, which they stole along with her money.

"I walked over to Ms. Olson and hit her twice with a hammer," Paape said later on Wednesday.

However, Paape argued he was an unwilling participant, and was worried Barbeau would hurt him if he didn't help.

"I was scared...that if I didn't do what Antonio (said), he might try something on me."

Defense attorneys brought in psychologists and medical experts, arguing about Paape's mental state and capacity to make his own decision.

Prosecutors tried to poke holes in Paape's story.

Prosecutor: "He didn't say if you don't come over here and help me, I'm going to hit you with this ax, didn't he?"
Paape: "No."
Prosecutor: "He didn't make any threat whatsoever to you to get you to come over and help him."
Paape: "No."
Prosecutor: "But you went over anyways, right?"

Both sides have rested their cases.  Each will make closing arguments, and the jury could start deliberating as soon as Thursday.