Jury finds Wood County Man Guilty of 1984 Murder

Nov 2 2022

WOOD COUNTY, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Justice today announced that a jury in Wood County, Wis. found John A. Sarver, 59, of Port Edwards, Wis., guilty of First Degree Murder after an 8 day trial in connection to the November 26, 1984, murder of Eleanore Roberts, 73, of Saratoga, Wis.


“This conviction was possible because of the dedicated investigators, analysts, and prosecutors who worked on this case over the course of many years,” said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “Thank you to everyone whose commitment to this case has resulted in the defendant being brought to justice.”


The evidence presented at trial established that the defendant entered Mrs. Roberts’ home in Saratoga, Wis. on the night of November 26, 1984, and beat and stabbed Mrs. Roberts with scissors. Advances in DNA testing over the years showed the defendant’s DNA on evidence presented at trial.


The conviction was the result of 38 years of investigation by the Wood County Sheriff’s Department and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the Wisconsin State Crime Lab.


The case was tried by Wisconsin Department of Justice Assistant Attorneys General Adrienne Blais and Nathaniel Adamson. The prosecution team also included Wisconsin Department of Justice Paralegal Rochelle Ederer, as well as DCI Special Agents Andrew Simon and Shane Heiser. Victim/witness services were provided by Hannah Wrobel and Mary Ann Groth of the Wisconsin Department of Justice Office of Crime Victim Services.


A Sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 23, 2023. The crime of conviction carries a life sentence.