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Vollbrecht free after striking plea deal in 1987 murder case

BARABOO, WI (WTAQ) - A southern Wisconsin man will remain free, after he struck a plea deal to settle a 26-year-old murder case. 

Terry Vollbrecht of Prairie du Sac was granted a new trial last year, after the Wisconsin Innocence Project at UW-Madison found evidence which showed that another man killed 18-year-old Angela Hackl. 

Her naked body was found tied to a tree near Sauk City in 1987. 

Vollbrecht's new trial was supposed to begin next March. He settled the case Thursday by pleading no contest to second-degree murder. 

A judge sentenced Vollbrecht to 25 years in prison, but he has already served 22 years and reached his mandatory release date. That will keep him out of prison, but he'll still have to serve 35 years on parole. Vollbrecht is now 52. 

The Innocence Project spent over a decade trying to free him -- and they finally did it by proving that Kim Brown killed Hackl. Brown is serving a life term another murder in Oxford, about six weeks after Hackl was slain. 

The Innocence Project said its evidence showed that the two deaths were similar. They also found DNA from an unknown male on Hackl's body and a sleeping bag.