“Real life horror movie”: Survivor takes the stand in Cayer trial

The survivor of a deadly 2016 attack on the home of the Teague family in Hobart took the stand in the trial of alleged killer Jacob Cayer.
Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 6:13 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2020 at 4:46 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The survivor of a deadly 2016 attack on the home of the Teague family in Hobart took the stand in the trial of alleged killer Jacob Cayer.

Joel Kennedy was called as the first witness Monday. He survived the June 7, 2016 attack that killed his girlfriend Sabrina Teague, 25, and Sabrina’s mother, Heesun “Sunny” Teague, 63. On the stand, Kennedy identified Cayer as the man who attacked them.

Cayer is standing trial on two counts of 1st Degree Intentional Homicide and one count of Attempted 1st Degree Intentional Homicide.

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Kennedy testified that he and Sabrina arrived at Sunny’s home that evening to check in on her. Kennedy says the shower was running. Sabrina went to check on her mother and found her in the bathroom with stains on the floor. He says Cayer emerged from a laundry room and attacked them.

Kennedy says Cayer attacked Sabrina before stabbing him with a kitchen knife. Kennedy testified that he put up his arm and the blade went through. His chest was also injured. Kennedy fell back and started kicking and punching. Cayer went after Sabrina and Kennedy ran to the garage to get a shovel. Cayer and Sabrina followed to the garage. Kennedy grabbed a shovel and hit Cayer in the face with it. Kennedy ran inside the home, locked the door and called 911. While in the home, he saw a body in the bedroom wrapped in a blanket. He believed that to be Sunny Teague.

Police arrived and Kennedy was taken to a hospital.

The defense questioned Kennedy about what they describe as “inconsistencies” in his statements and the timeline of the attack. On the stand, Kennedy said Sabrina was attacked first. His initial statement said he was attacked first.

The defense also asked Kennedy about why he was carrying a knife. Kennedy said that he worked at Burger King and used the knife to break down boxes. Kennedy said the knife was also for self-protection.

The defense also asked Kennedy why he ran inside the home after hitting Cayer with the shovel. “I don’t know,” Kennedy answered. He said it happened very fast and he was responding on instinct.

During opening statements, Brown County District Attorney Dave Lasee said Jacob Cayer turned the Teague home into a “real life horror movie.” Lasee said the scene was gruesome and there was “blood everywhere.” Lasee said Cayer killed Sunny Teague with a tire iron before going after Sabrina and Joel Kennedy.

The defense asked jurors to keep an open mind and to remember there are “two sides to every story.” Defense Attorney Anthony Cotton says Cayer may take the stand.

Prior to Kennedy’s testimony, Lasee played his 911 call. Kennedy pleads for help and says that he’s “losing a lot of blood.” Kennedy identifies the attacker as “his girlfriend’s ex boyfriend Jacob.”

Cayer’s trial is scheduled to go through Friday, Aug. 14. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Tammy Jo Hock is presiding.

A criminal complaint states Cayer told investigators he got into a fight with his dad, went to Teague’s house, broke in through Sabrina’s window, and attacked her mother in the bathroom.

Cayer then attacked Sabrina and Joel Kennedy.

Officers found Sunny Teague dead at the scene. A responding officer attempted to save Sabrina’s life, but it was too late.

A Brown County K-9 found Cayer hiding in tall grass near the Teague home on Riverdale Dr. Cayer responded, “I don’t have the knife. I left it in the house. I don’t have the knife.”

Police found a backpack with zip ties, knives, rope, duct tape, gloves and a hammer near a bicycle in the yard. Similar materials were found near Heesun Teague’s body, according to prosecutors.

The district attorney called the stabbings “a very violent event.”

Cayer has been in and out of competency since charges were filed in 2016. Last November, a judge ordered Cayer to a mental health institution and to take medication against his objections.

During that November hearing, Dr. Christian Engen of the Wisconsin Forensic Unit testified that she did not believe Cayer understood the seriousness of the case. Engen described Cayer as “gleeful” during discussions about the case.

Cayer demanded to be found competent and for his trial to move forward.

In June, the court scheduled Cayer’s trial to begin in August.

Cayer has been through several attorneys, which has also delayed the case.

Law & Crime Network is carrying the trial live:

Action 2 News will keep you updated.

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