Steven Breneman. (Courtesy Portage Co. Jail)

Almond man sentenced to life for 2018 shooting

By Patrick Lynn

A man from Almond on Friday was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree intentional homicide.

Steven Breneman, 32, was convicted in April of the shooting death of Donald A. Brewer, 45, in May of 2018. Brewer was shot in front of his home and with his children present, police said.

Portage Co. Circuit County Judge Thomas B. Eagon sentenced Breneman to life imprisonment with the possibility of extended-release (formerly referred to as “parole”) after serving 25 years.

District Attorney Louis J. Molepske, Jr. argued at the June 21 sentencing that Breneman didn’t deserve the possibility of parole because of the premeditated nature of the homicide.

“The defendant shot Mr. Brewer once, heard him scream in pain and knew he had shot him, and then shot him again in the head killing him instantly while in front of Brewer’s two children,” Molepske said.

Eagon said he recognized the Molepske’s argument, but due to Breneman’s lack of prior record, his age, and “lack of previous undesirable actions in the community,” he deserves the possibility of requesting extended supervision as the law allows.

“This senseless act of violence was all because the defendant would not let his wife leave a failed marriage,” Molepske said. “The defendant chose to kill Mr. Brewer instead of letting his wife leave with the person she loved.”

Prior to the shooting, Breneman told his wife, “if you leave me I’ll kill Don.” That’s how it played out on May 5, 2018,  when Breneman went to Brewer’s home with a loaded handgun.

Breneman hid the gun while asking Brewer’s son to retrieve his father, then shot Brewer, in front of Brewer’s two teenage sons, when he appeared, which Molepske said also put the boys in danger.

Breneman told police he’d been considering killing Brewer since January 2018, when he discovered Brewer was having an affair with Breneman’s wife, even using a rifle to scope out Brewer’s home at one point.

“No one is justified to kill another human being because of a marital affair,” Molepske said. “The defendant killed Don Brewer instead of walking away from the situation and turning the other cheek, and now two families are torn apart and two young men are forever scarred by this defendant’s cowardice act of vengeance.

Molepske prosecuted the case with Assistant District Attorney Robert Jambois.