A criminal complaint filed Tuesday in the murder of a UW Health physician and her husband alleges that the boyfriend of the couple’s daughter shot both of them in the head and left them for dead in the UW Arboretum the night of March 30.
2020 WI Deaths
2020 Domestic Violence-Related Deaths in Wisconsin
As of March 30th, 21 Wisconsin lives have been lost to domestic violence homicide in 2020. That’s one person killed every 4.2 days. If that pattern continues, 86 lives will be lost this year. 29% of victims were age 18 or under. Our website may define domestic violence homicide somewhat differently than the state coalition, End Abuse, WI. We consider sibling homicides and parent/child homicides as domestic violence, including family cases where intimate partner violence may not have been a factor.
January 1st, 2020: Alonzo Lamar Jr., Age 1 – Milwaukee
A 21-year-old Milwaukee man is facing charges in connection to the death of a 1-year-old child. The victim is Alonzo Lamar Jr. — also known as A.J. The accused is James Johnson.
Johnson is facing the following charges:
- First-degree reckless homicide
- Neglecting a child — consequence is death
- Two counts of physical abuse of a child (intentional causation of bodily harm)
According to the criminal complaint, Milwaukee police were called out to the area near 25th Street and Atkinson Avenue Wednesday night, Jan. 1 in response to a 1-year-old child who was unresponsive with significant bruising to the face. Upon arrival, police found members of the Milwaukee Fire Department performing life-saving measures on the child. The child was pronounced dead.
Andreana Martin, the baby’s mother, told police she left her 1-year-old son Alonzo Lamar Jr. in the care of her boyfriend on New Year’s Day while she went to work. While at work, Martin says she received a call from her boyfriend, identified as James Johnson, saying something was wrong. Martin said she rushed home to find her son lifeless and covered in bruises.
According to the complaint, officials say the child appeared to have human bite marks on the left arm, back, and leg. Officials also observed multiple bruises and abrasions to the face and head — along with lacerations to the inner cheek. An autopsy concluded that the child died as a result of blunt force trauma and the death was ruled a homicide. According to the complaint, Johnson claimed the child fell off the bed in the basement face-first onto the floor. “…crying non-stop for over an hour,”
Based on the accidental fall explanation Johnson provided to the mother, detectives measured the distance between the top of the mattress to the floor. The distance measured 1’4”, meaning the fall would have been a very minor fall, according to the complaint. During an interview with detectives, Johnson admitted to biting the child, striking him multiple times in the head with an open hand, and punching him in the leg with a closed fist because he was “crying non-stop for over an hour,” according to the complaint.
“AJ was just so happy. He was the happiest baby anybody could ever meet,” said Selena Cole, Alonzo’s Godmother. Now family members come together in heartbreak — hoping to heal through prayer. “We ask your hand to mercy to stretch out on them, and you strengthen them right now, in the mighty name of Jesus, we pray this prayer. If you’re in agreement say Amen,” heard from a prayer circle. A GoFundMe account was set up for Alonzo Lamar Jr. CLICK HERE to learn more.
As for Johnson, he is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
January 15th, 2020: Edward Styer, Age 78 – Colfax
We now know a Dunn County man allegedly killed his father in Dunn County on Wednesday. According to Dunn County Sheriff Kevin Bygd, Gary Styer, 51, of rural Colfax killed his father Edward Styer, 78. According to Bygd, on Wednesday morning Gary Styer used a “blunt object” to kill his father and remained in the house with him until later in the day.
Then he drove to Eau Claire and told someone he knew that something had happened at the house. Gary Styer was arrested for 1st degree intentional homicide. News 18 first learned there was a death investigation on Wednesday night but few details were released until now. A $250,000 cash bond was set for Styer. Formal charges are expected to be filed next week.
January 17th, 2020: Samantha Roberts, Age 20 – Nekoosa
When Samantha Roberts smiled, everyone around her smiled. That’s what her grandfather, Alan Roberts, said of his granddaughter. She had a sense of humor, too. Every so often, Samantha, who had cerebral palsy and used a wheelchair, would stick her leg out and pretend she was going to trip someone.
Roberts said Samantha loved joining him on walks. One night, she was having trouble sleeping after she had undergone surgery. Roberts said he laid with her until she fell asleep. “She was a very special little girl,” Roberts said. “I’ll miss that girl forever.”
Samantha was killed Jan. 17 at her home in Nekoosa. She was 20 years old, and an autopsy revealed she died from significant head trauma. Police arrested her mother’s live-in boyfriend, Paul Carter, 43, who admitted to hitting Samantha in the past but denied harming her the day of her death, according to court records. He was jailed on suspicion of first-degree homicide and remained in custody Thursday on a $1 million cash bond. His next court date is Feb. 4.
Samantha graduated in 2018 from Nekoosa High School with her sister, Destiny Roberts, 19. Samantha’s friends and family members remember her as a bright, carefree person who could make anyone’s bad day better. Her adoptive sister, Angel Wilson, said when Samantha was younger she loved to watch “Animal Planet” and read Dr. Seuss books. “I just want people to know how happy she was,” Wilson said. “There wasn’t a person who knew her who didn’t love her.” A Daily Tribune reporter was unable to reach Samantha’s mother for comment.
Samantha’s paternal grandmother, Donna Johnson of Macomb, Illinois, last saw the girl in 2012, after Samantha’s father, Leroy, died with leukemia. That’s when Samantha moved from Illinois to Wisconsin with her mother and siblings, Johnson said.
Johnson said they’re trying to remind themselves of the happy times they had with Samantha. One of Johnson’s favorite memories happened when they were trying to help the girl move around with a walker when she was younger. “She tried to run (me) over,” Johnson said. “(Her) daddy and grandpa and I all got a laugh out of that.”
Reba Roberts, an aunt who would look after her when she was younger, said Samantha always would smile and move to her favorite songs. She loved attention and stimulation from other people, Reba Roberts said, and she could always put a smile on your face. Brandi McMahill of Macomb became friends of the Roberts family when Samantha lived in Illinois. Her daughters loved spending time with Samantha. “If you were having a bad day, her smile would give you butterflies in your stomach and make you happier,” McMahill said. “Anyone who came in contact with Sammy, they were better for it.”
January 24th, 2020: Mary Boulton, Age 62 – Milwaukee
Homicide charges have been filed in the Jan. 24 shooting that left a 62-year-old woman dead and two others injured in the Hampton Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee’s northwest side.
Orlando A. Cain, 40, of Milwaukee has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide, two counts of first-degree reckless injury and possession of a firearm by a felon. He is not in custody, according to online court records.
Cain had spent several months stalking an ex-girlfriend despite a restraining order, threatening her and her new boyfriend until he opened fire on the man’s van as he arrived to pick up the woman and her sister, the complaint said.
Mary Boulton, 62, was a passenger in the boyfriend’s van and suffered a single gunshot wound to the back of her head, killing her, the complaint said.
The girlfriend and her 34-year-old sister had been waiting outside a home along the 4800 block of North 65th Street at the time of the shooting, the complaint said. The sister and boyfriend were also shot, but survived. The girlfriend was not injured.
According to the complaint:
Security camera footage from the nearby intersection of North 65th Street and West Stark Street showed an individual, believed to be Cain, arriving in the area about an hour before the shooting and spending a lot of time walking around.
Around 11:45 p.m., as the boyfriend’s van is seen passing through the intersection, Cain walks into the middle of the street and fires multiple times at the van before running away. Police later located eight spent 9mm casings in the road.
The boyfriend had been driving Boulton from her workplace back to her home but was stopping along the way to pick up the girlfriend and her sister, who, less than a block away, were waiting outside for their ride.
Shots were also fired at the two women, with one bullet hitting the sister in the head. It’s unclear whether the women or the van were fired upon first.
Text messages between Cain and the ex-girlfriend from months and weeks earlier indicated that Cain had been watching her house and knew what the boyfriend’s vehicle looked like.
January 26th, 2020: Daniel Colon Jr., Age 30 – Glendale
A 25-year-old Milwaukee man has been charged with killing his coworker’s boyfriend in a Bayshore parking lot. Jose Aviles Hernandez was charged Jan. 31 in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of 30-year-old Daniel Colon, who was found shot to death at about 8:25 a.m. Jan. 26 in the U.S. Bank parking lot.
Colon and his girlfriend had been living together for nine years and had two children together, according to court documents. On the morning of his death, Colon had been arguing with his girlfriend in the U.S. Bank parking lot at Bayshore about her friendship with Aviles Hernandez, one of her coworkers at The Cheesecake Factory, the documents said.
Aviles Hernandez and Colon’s girlfriend were expected to start work at 8 a.m. When Aviles Hernandez arrived at the restaurant, Colon confronted him about his relationship with his girlfriend, according to court documents. Colon then told his girlfriend to drive to where Aviles Hernandez’s car was parked, where Colon used a tire iron to smash one of Aviles Hernandez’s car windows. The couple then returned to the U.S. Bank parking lot, according to court documents.
Aviles Hernandez, armed with a gun, then ran toward Colon, who was standing in front of the open passenger side door of his girlfriend’s car. A witness saw Colon pleading with Aviles Hernandez not to shoot, according to court documents. Colon tried to run away, but Aviles Hernandez fired multiple shots at Colon, killing him, according to the documents. Aviles Hernandez is in custody at the Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Facility. His bail has been set at $150,000 cash. He is due in court again Feb. 7 for a preliminary hearing.
February 2nd, 2020: Jay Puestohl, Age 67 – OshKosh
According to a criminal complaint, Ian Suzuki, 28, fatally stabbed Jay Puestohl, 67, on Sunday. Prosecutors say the two had a disagreement over conditions a third person, Wendy Suzuki, was setting for Ian Suzuki to live at her property. Winnebago County District Attorney Christian Gossett confirmed Wendy Suzuki is Ian Suzuki’s mother.
The complaint calls Wendy Suzuki and Puesohl “friends.” Gossett couldn’t confirm if they were romantically involved, and the complaint doesn’t list why Puestohl was present. During Suzuki’s initial court appearance Thursday, a $500,000 cash bond was set.
“This had to do with trying to impose some restrictions and get some behavior modifications and get the defendant under control and obviously his reaction resulted in the case we’re dealing with today,” Gossett said. The criminal complaint says Ian Suzuki allegedly stabbed Puestohl in the neck. Puestohl was taken to the hospital, where he later died. Wendy Suzuki, 63, was also injured in the attack.
Police say when they arrived, Ian Suzuki told them, “I stabbed him in the neck, you need to save him.” He further kept repeating, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” according to the complaint. At the scene, Ian Suzuki told police he had eaten morning glory seeds the morning before and had spent the night at the hospital. In an interview with investigators, Wendy Suzuki said Ian Suzuki had a history of mental illness, was taking medication and seeing a psychiatrist. “At this point we’re not certain all of the different variables that we’re dealing with here regarding any possible mental health considerations and AODA issues,” Gossett said. Suzuki returns to court Feb. 13 for further proceedings, and Feb. 17 for a preliminary hearing.
February 8th, 2020: Amarah “Jerica” Banks, 26, Zaniya R. Ivery, 5, Camaria Banks, 4 – Milwaukee
The Milwaukee man accused in the deaths of his former girlfriend and her two daughters severely beat the woman in the hours after their young son’s funeral, according to prosecutors.
A neighbor told police that in the early morning of Feb. 8, she saw Amarah “Jerica” Banks, 26, running through the parking lot of the apartment building where she and Banks lived. Banks had no shoes and was bleeding from the mouth, according to a criminal complaint.
Banks screamed, “No, no, please don’t kill me” as Arzel J. Ivery, 25, dragged her back into the building, according to the complaint.
A second neighbor in the same apartment called 911; she later posted a screen grab of her call history, indicating the call went out at 1:51 a.m. Police call logs show officers responded at 2 a.m. to the building in the 5900 block of N. Sherman Boulevard but could not locate the complainant. That usually means police could not find the 911 caller. They routinely leave under those circumstances.
The police log also shows the contact as a generic “call for police,” not specifically a battery or assault.
Banks and her two daughters — one of whom Ivery fathered — ultimately were found slain Sunday in a garage behind his apartment building in the 4700 block of West Burleigh Street. Zaniya R. Ivery was 5 years old; Camaria Banks was 4. They were the victims of an apparent homicide, police said.
By the time the three bodies were found, it had been eight days since the fight, and nine days since the funeral for Arzel J. Ivery Jr., who was 21 months old when he died from bronchitis.
Prosecutors on Saturday filed a charge of felony aggravated battery against Ivery. He was arraigned Monday morning in Memphis, Tennessee, on a fugitive-from-justice warrant.
No homicide charges had been filed as of Monday afternoon.
February 22nd, 2020: Meshala Bell-Pabai, Age 31 – Milwaukee
Police say a man shot and killed two women in Milwaukee. The shooting happened about 8:30 p.m. Saturday near North 24th Place and West Auer Avenue. Police said the victims were a 30-year-old woman and 31-year-old woman. Family members identified one woman as 31-year-old woman Meshala Bell-Pabai.
“She took chances and always had a smile on her face. She was always that go-to person, willing to help,” her sister told WISN 12 News. “She was a good mom,” a neighbor said. “She did everything she could to take care of her baby. She’s nice, friendly. She’s the type of person that was helping me when I was struggling.” Bell-Pabai’s family identified the other victim as her friend, Aubrey.
Police told WISN 12 News they arrested a 32-year-old man at the scene. Neighbors said the shooting was the result of a family dispute. Family members said the suspect was a relative of one of the victims. It is unclear what led up to the double shooting. The Milwaukee Police Department is investigating the shooting. Anyone with information should call MPD at 414-935-7360 or Crime Stoppers 414-224-TIPS. Family members created a GoFundMe page to benefit the victims’ children.
February 22nd, 2020: Aubrianna Lancaster Age 30 – Milwaukee
The brother of one of the women killed in a deadly shooting last weekend is upset his sister died trying to break up a fight she didn’t start. Milwaukee police have not released much information about the shooting near North 24th Place and West Auer Avenue Saturday except to describe the cause of the violence as a family dispute.
However, Robert Lancaster, whose sister Aubrianna was killed, said he blames the other woman who died, Meshala Pabai, for starting the fight, citing information he said police detectives provided, but had not shared publicly. “Meshala was very manipulative and exploited my sister’s depression,” Robert Lancaster said when reached by phone Monday night. “That’s what my sister had. She had depression. That didn’t get treated because she didn’t have enough money. Meshala got into an argument with her brother, because I guess they were living there,and he shot his sister and killed my sister in the process.”
According to a search warrant obtained by WISN 12 News, investigators found Deandre Bell in the basement of the home after the shooting. The document also said police found a gun at the scene and recovered several shell casings from the home.
A surveillance camera near the scene captured six gunshots around the time of the incident. Bell, 32, is in police custody. Charges have not yet been filed in the case. A mugshot of Bell was not immediately available on the Milwaukee County Jail website. “My sister had a beautiful, kind heart and she would sacrifice anything she had to make sure that you had it, and that’s what she was. She used to give and give and give,” Lancaster’s brother said.
February 27th, 2020: Zyana Corbin, Age 3 – Appleton
Demetrius Williams says he stabbed his pregnant ex-girlfriend and killed her 3-year-old daughter because the woman didn’t want to be with him anymore.
Williams, 25, appeared court Monday on charges of first-degree intentional homicide and attempted first-degree intentional homicide for the Feb. 27 incidents on Kensington Avenue. A $2 million cash bond was set. He returns to court March 11.
“Demetrius said he was upset at his ‘ex’ because she didn’t want to be together and didn’t want him to touch her anymore He said she is pregnant with his baby.. Demetrius said he went on a stabbing rage and started stabbing her daughter,” the complaint states. “When Sgt. Thao asked why he wanted to kill Victim 1 and his baby, Victim 3, he said for him ‘freedom and happiness.’ When asked to describe happiness he said killing Victim 1 would mean he didn’t have to deal with her anymore and unburden him from his anger.”
“He was beginning to feel that his girlfriend who was pregnant with his child was beginning to distance herself from him. He began to concoct a plan to kill her and to kill her three-year-old daughter,” Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis said.
Appleton Police identified the girl as Zyana Corbin, 3. She had a “very deep laceration to her throat/neck area,” the complaint says.
Police provided a link to a GoFundMe page, which identifies the woman as Tiana. Her name does not appear in the complaint. She had injuries to her chest and abdomen area, as well as her face and neck.
February 28th, 2020: Autumn Horak, Age 4 – South Milwaukee
South Milwaukee residents Jerome Millen and Christina Collado are each facing felony charges after Collado’s 4-year-old daughter died. Millen, 22, could face life in prison if convicted of a single felony count of physical abuse of a child resulting in death. Collado, 21, could face up to 60 years in prison if convicted of felony child neglect, according to two criminal complaints filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.
South Milwaukee police responded around 7 a.m. Feb. 28 to a residence in the 400 block of Montana Avenue for an unresponsive girl. Despite lifesaving efforts, the child was pronounced dead on-scene. According to the criminal complaints: Investigators found numerous bruises on the girl, who was only wearing a diaper, along with a burn injury and what appeared to be “a human bite mark.” Family members and others told police Millen had repeatedly physically abused the child in the past, and that when he disciplined the girl, he often went too far.
Millen left the residence shortly before emergency personnel arrived. Police later found him at a friend’s house. Millen admitted to covering the girl’s mouth multiple times Feb. 27, including smothering her with a pillow. He also admitted to striking the child multiple times. When told the girl was dead, Millen said, “so my life is over.” “If all the injuries caused (her) to die, it’s my fault, my fault,” he told police. “If she suffocated that is my responsibility and I killed that child.”
Collado said she knew Millen was abusing her daughter, adding that if she’d properly protected her child the girl would still be alive. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office conducted an autopsy and made a preliminary ruling that the girl’s death was homicide with findings consistent with suffocation. Both Millen and Collado were scheduled to make initial court appearances Tuesday. Millen was ordered held on a $250,000 cash bond; Collado’s bond was set at $50,000
March 2nd, 2020 Milwaukee bar owner says her husband was trying to kill her before police fatally shot him
The wife of the man Milwaukee police fatally shot over the weekend said her husband was rampaging through the bar she owned, threatening to kill her, before officers arrived. Kamesha Taylor said she was in the process of separating with her husband, 49-year-old Anthony Taylor, but he hadn’t tried to hurt her before Saturday night.
Lounge 340, a bar that Kamesha Taylor co-owned with a friend, was celebrating its one-year anniversary that night. The women, neighbors said, were respected business owners who worked hard to keep their bar safe. In an interview with WITI-TV on Monday, Taylor said if police hadn’t fatally shot her husband, he might have shot her or one of her employees in his rage. “It would’ve been either him or it would’ve been one of us,” Taylor said.
Milwaukee police responded shortly after 11 p.m. to the 300 block of West Reservoir Avenue for a call of a subject with a gun. As officers were responding, the call was updated to a shots fired complaint. Taylor said that by the time police responded, her husband had already beaten her, barreled through the bar — injuring others — when she managed to escape, and waved his gun around, firing shots. “As they confronted that individual, officers discharged their firearms at the suspect, fatally wounding him,” Assistant Police Chief Michael Brunson said at a news conference.
The party had been going smoothly earlier, Taylor said. Outside on Reservoir Avenue, her husband was manning his food truck, TK’s Smok’n Smokehouse, which was celebrating its grand opening. All of a sudden, an employee came inside saying Anthony had pointed a gun at them and punched them. Taylor went outside to talk to her husband, and “from there, he tackled me down to the ground,” she said.
A relative freed Kamesha, and she ran inside and hid in the basement. Anthony Taylor followed, trying to find his wife. A friend ended up smuggling Kamesha away in a car. Moments after speeding off, she got a call from her co-owner: Anthony Taylor was firing shots outside. Kamesha Taylor believes her husband also shot at her mother’s car as her mother tried to flee. Anthony Taylor went back inside the bar, his wife recounted, and threw chairs and choked one of her employees. He was shouting that he was going to find and kill Kamesha. “It was impossible for someone to contain him,” she said.
Kamesha Taylor said she believes police officers told her husband to drop his gun three times before they shot him. The couple were married 10 years and share a son. They’d agreed to separate after years of struggling in their marriage. Anthony had trouble accepting this, Kamesha Taylor said. “He was an awesome person. He was a great dad,” she said. “I think it was just issues that he wasn’t willing to deal and cope with — things like anger management.” She said she hoped her story would inspire other women facing domestic violence to seek help.
March 9th, 2020: Jaylee Conaway, Age 15 months – Janesville
A man accused of beating a 15-month-old Janesville girl who died Monday will be charged with first-degree reckless homicide, police said Tuesday. Steven M. Horan, 30, of Janesville was caring for the girl while the girl’s mother was out, and he had been drinking “throughout the day,” Lt. Charles Aagaard of the police investigations bureau said at a news conference. Horan was the mother’s boyfriend for about three months, Aagaard said. Horan was in a highly emotional state when officers arrived, Aagaard said. Aagaard declined to say what kind of emotion Horan was expressing.
The girl, who reportedly had been on life support at a Rockford, Illinois, hospital, was pronounced dead Monday, police said. Police were called to 526 Eisenhower Ave. on the city’s east side at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. Because of incorrect information sent to their squad-car computers, officers thought they were responding to a report of a 51-year-old who had no pulse and was not breathing, Chief Dave Moore said.
Moore said officers usually have a moment to brace themselves in such cases, but in this instance they were not prepared to find a young child who was not breathing, and it was difficult for them. Officers took over CPR from the mother, who had come home to find her daughter not breathing. Moore said the girl was beaten. He called the incident a violent assault. Police have not released the name of the victim or her mother because they have not confirmed that all family members have been notified, Aagaard said after the press conference. Investigators have no information that an instrument of any kind was used in the assault, Aagaard said.
Moore noted this is the fourth homicide since the start of the year in a city where the 10-year average has been one per year. “My hope is this is just an anomaly and we can carry on like this community has for many years,” Moore said. Moore said police will scrutinize the circumstances in all the homicides, looking for commonalities and possible preventive measures, but none has been identified so far. Aagaard said police still were investigating the assault. Horan remained in the Rock County Jail on Tuesday on a $10,000 cash bond. Police said they referred information about Horan, who is the father of two children, to Rock County Child Protective Services “so we can ensure the welfare of the children.”
Assistant District Attorney Rich Sullivan said in court on Monday that CPS had imposed an order forbidding Horan to have contact with his children. Prosecutors have not yet charged Horan, who is due back in court Monday. Rock County Human Services Director Kate Luster spoke at the press conference, saying she could not confirm or deny any CPS action in any case. Luster called the death rare and very sad. “As the local child-welfare agency, we are heartbroken at this senseless loss and really just extend our condolences and thoughts and prayers to this family and to the officers and others involved in responding to the scene,” Luster said.
Luster stressed that anyone with even a suspicion of child abuse or neglect can report it, and Child Protective Services will intervene when needed to protect children. Speaking in general and not about this case, Luster said social isolation and high stress can increase the risk of child abuse.
As a community, we can think about what might help keep children safe, Luster suggested. “What we know helps prevent abuse is helping parents and families to be as connected as possible socially, helping to reduce stress overall by making sure we have access to affordable housing; good wages; high quality, accessible child care; information and education about child development; supports for parents’ own resilience to help them get their own needs met,” Luster said. Police officer Craig Klementz described the department’s peer support program that was employed with the officers who responded to the scene. The process involves specially designed debriefings and ongoing support. “We’re all monitoring the officers that were involved and making sure that they’re not showing any signs of post-traumatic stress,” Klementz said.
March 10th, 2020: Dominique Roth, Age 34, Deidra Popanda, Age 26 – Waukesha
A quadruple stabbing in the Town of Waukesha Tuesday night, March 10 ended with the deaths of two women and the hospitalization of two other women. Police said a man was arrested at the scene.
A call for help led to a gruesome discovery. Neighbors said they were home cooking when they saw their neighbor hiding in the backyard. She told them, “My son-in-law stabbed me!” Officials with the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department said they arrested a man on the scene. In total, four women were stabbed.
On Wednesday, March 11, officials released the names of the victims — Dominique Roth, 34, and Deidre Popanda, 26. The survivors, ages 36 and 62, were recovering from their injuries. “It’s kind of scary seeing crime tape three houses down the street. It’s kind of terrifying,” said Michele Anzivino, a neighbor.
Those living in what is considered a secluded and quiet part of town were shaken by the violence. Authorities remained on the scene Wednesday sorting through evidence. Neighbors said the home is a rental property — and there were never issues there until Tuesday night. “I would have never expected something like this to happen, but it can happen anywhere,” said a neighbor.
Many Wednesday were thinking of a young child who ran for help. “It’s terrifying. I can’t imagine a 10-year-old living through that,” the neighbor said. Sheriff’s officials did not release additional information on the suspect or motive Wednesday.
March 11th, 2020: Benjamin J. Brich, Age 43 – Kewaskum
A 50-year-old Kewaskum woman is facing charges of first-degree intentional homicide in the March 11 death of her husband Benjamin J. Brich. In a criminal complaint, police say Marie Amdrae Bourget allegedly stabbed her husband after he asked her to move out.
Deputies were called to 4355 County Trunk H in the Town of Kewaskum just after 9:20 a.m. on March 11 for a female subject who was suicidal. While en route, dispatch said that the female subject, who was later identified as Marie A. Bourget, had stabbed her husband and he was possibly deceased at the house. Upon arrival, they found Bourget with self-inflicted wounds but was able to explain to the officers what happened.
“He asked me to move out and I killed him,” Bourget allegedly said. According to the complaint, Bourget told police she found legal paperwork around 3 a.m. the morning of the murder and confronted him when he was waking up because she “had it.” She claimed she was “being hurt emotionally.” Bourget had filed for divorce on January 30. A proposed order was filed by Brich on March 10. He was found dead with the divorce documents near him.
Detectives stated that those documents indicated that the residence where the defendant and victim were residing was paid for by Brich and that he would retain ownership of the residence pursuant to the divorce proceedings. She is due back in Washington County court on May 1. If convicted, Bourget could face life in prison.
March 29th, 2020: Brandon Pettis, Age 30 – Milwaukee
A 30-year-old Milwaukee man was found dead from a gunshot wound inside a residence, police said. A 40-year-old woman was arrested at the scene. The investigation indicated the shooting was related to domestic violence.
March 30th, 2020: Beth Potter, 52 and Robin Carre, 57 – Madison
Khari Sanford and his alleged accomplice Ali’jah Larrue, both 18 and of Madison, are each charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the deaths of Beth Potter, 52, and Robin Carre, 57, also both of Madison. Their bodies were found by a jogger on the morning of March 31. Carre was dead and Potter was taken to a hospital where she died shortly thereafter. Bail for both men was set at $1 million at an initial hearing on Tuesday in Dane County Circuit Court.
“This was a brutal execution,” Dane County assistant district attorney William Brown said, noting that Carre was found in his underwear and Potter in her pajamas. He said the incident began as a burglary that escalated into a kidnapping and ultimately a homicide in which the victims were shot point-blank in the head. Larrue and Sanford appeared via video from the jail, as did the attorneys and the court commissioner, a newly adopted practice by the court to avoid spreading COVID-19.
According to the complaint, Sanford and his girlfriend, Miriam Potter Carre, the couple’s daughter, had been living with her parents but not abiding by social distancing guidelines and other rules related to the coronavirus outbreak. Because Potter had a medical condition that put her at risk, the couple moved Sanford and Potter Carre into an Airbnb in the weeks before the killing.
Police say Sanford admitted to a friend that he shot the couple and also told him he had heard that Potter had survived and might implicate him in the crime. The friend also told law enforcement that he overheard a conversation between Sanford and Potter Carre earlier in March in which “Miriam discussed with Khari the idea of how they could get money,” the complaint says, and that Potter Carre told Sanford that her parents were rich.
Police said they used surveillance video from a number of sources and GPS data from Larrue’s phone to track the movements of the alleged killers and the white Volkswagen minivan the couple had lent to their daughter, which Sanford and Larrue allegedly used to take Potter and Carre from their Near West Side Madison home.
The complaint says Potter Carre told police the day after the murders that Sanford had been with her the entire night before when her parents were allegedly taken to the Arboretum. But texts police recovered from her phone suggested Sanford was not with her that night.
Attorneys for Sanford and Larrue asked for lower bail amounts, with Larrue’s attorney, Michael Covey, noting his client had no criminal record.
Sanford’s attorney, assistant public defender Diana Van Rybroek, said she’s been contacted by community leaders in Madison concerned about Sanford, and said that at the time of his arrest, he was halfway through his senior year at West High School, where he had been captain of the football team and was waiting to hear back from colleges he’d applied to attend. She did not name the community leaders.
In an email to fellow City Council members Tuesday, council president Shiva Bidar said Sanford had been the Wanda Fullmore intern in the council’s office last summer, and a July 29 Tweet from Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway shows her posing with Sanford after a three-on-three basketball tournament in the Allied Drive neighborhood.
Sanford was active with a community group in the Allied Drive neighborhood known as the Brotherhood, which organized sports for youth and served as a place for racial justice advocacy and mentoring for black teenage boys.
He was also arrested last year for car theft and accepted into a deferred prosecution program in February, according to online court records.
“We’re all pretty complicated,” court commissioner Jason Hanson said in the Tuesday hearing. “There are a lot of facets to our lives.”
Potter was a family medicine physician at the Wingra Family Medical Center, run by the UW-Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and Access Community Health Centers. Carre, an educator and former coaching director of Regent Soccer Club, offered consulting services to students and their families for the college search and application process. They also leave behind two other children.
UW-Madison Police spokesman Marc Lovicott said the investigation into the case is ongoing and would not rule out further arrests, although he said, “we believe we have the two primary suspects directly responsible for these murders arrested and in custody. We are not looking for any other primary suspects.”