2021 Domestic Violence-Related Deaths in Wisconsin
As of July 4th, at least 47 Wisconsin lives have been lost to domestic violence in 2021. That’s one person killed every 3.9 days. If we continue at that pace, 93 lives are projected to be lost to domestic violence in Wisconsin this year. 13% of victims were age 18 or under. Our website defines domestic violence-related death somewhat differently than the state coalition, End Abuse, WI. We consider sibling and parent/child incidents also as domestic violence, including family cases where intimate partner violence may not have been a factor. We believe that all incidents that happen within a family or intimate partner relationship constitute domestic violence.
January 6th: Jesus Medrano Jr., Age 49 and Latrice Meyers-Medrano, Age 36 – Kenosha
Wisconsin authorities allege a Wisconsin man murdered his father and his stepmom after being caught molesting a minor in the family’s Kenosha home. A press release from Kenosha Police confirms Latrice Meyers-Medrano, 36, and her husband, Jesus “Jesse” Medrano, Jr., 49, were stabbed to death last week. Inside the home at the time of the crime, police said, were four other children. Police have detained Jesus V. Medrano III, 24, on two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree sexual assault and physical abuse of a child. He remains behind bars on $2.5 million bond. Officers were initially dispatched to the couple’s home Wednesday morning at around 4:30 a.m. “to investigate a possible sex crime.” When they arrived, officers “discovered that some type of struggle had taken place,” reads the release. Not long after, they found the couple dead inside a bedroom. The criminal complaint in the case reports police noted there was blood on the walls of the home. The complaint alleges the suspect carried out the killings with a machete. The complaint alleges the killings happened after his father caught Medrano molesting a child in the home.
It is alleged in the criminal complaint Medrano said he’d recently been having sexual thoughts about an underage girl, and decided to act upon those impulses. He allegedly said he entered her bedroom with the machete and a pair of socks, to stifle her screams. The girl fought back, and, hearing the commotion, the father came into the room, according to the complaint. Medrano allegedly told detectives he stabbed his father with the machete as his stepmother was approaching the bedroom door, and that he said he chased after her, leaping over his father’s body, according to the complaint. The elder Medrano and Meyers-Medrano were pronounced dead at the scene. Police found the suspect at his brother’s house. Still allegedly wielding the machete, Medrano was ordered to drop the weapon. Before eventually complying with police orders, he asked them to kill him, investigators allege in the criminal complaint. Medrano, who faces life in prison if convicted, has yet to enter pleas to the charges he faces.
January 9th: Harper, Age 4 days old – Albany, WI
A 16-year-old father allegedly told prosecutors he left his newborn daughter to die in snow-filled tree before later admitting to shooting the little girl twice in the head. The teen, identified as Logan Kruckenberg-Anderson, faces a first-degree homicide charge in connection with the infant’s death. A criminal complaint, filed Tuesday, detailed what the teenage father told investigators who had been searching for the baby. According to the complaint, Kruckenberg-Anderson told them he placed the newborn baby, who had been named Harper, naked in a snow-filled tree in the woods near of the Village of Albany. Prosecutors say he claimed to have covered the infant with snow and walked away, adding that he knew the child would likely die of exposure. Kruckenberg-Anderson reportedly continued, saying he could still hear Harper crying as he left, causing him to break down, dropping to his knees and crying. After leading to investigators to Harper’s body, the complaint states, a member of the Wisconsin State Crime lab found the girl had been shot and surmised the baby was likely alive – or recently alive – when she was placed in the tree. In an interview following the discovery of Harper’s body and bullet wounds, Kruckenberg-Anderson admitted to shooting her twice in the head, the complaint states, noting that two bullets were found at the scene where she was discovered. An autopsy determined Harper was alive when she was shot.
Kruckenberg-Anderson is also charged with hiding the corpse of a child. He appeared in court for the first time Tuesday afternoon where his cash bond was set at one million dollars. He is due back in court on January 20 for a preliminary hearing. The complaint states a man called Green Co. authorities early Saturday morning, saying his teenage daughter gave birth to a daughter four days earlier, on January 5, in the bathtub of a Village of Albany home. The caller added Kruckenberg-Anderson had taken the baby and they had not seen her since. The child’s mother told investigators she and Kruckenberg-Anderson had decided they could not keep the child and needed to do something so the infant wasn’t in their life, the complaint stated. Initially, Kruckenberg-Anderson allegedly told a Green Co. deputy that he gave the baby to a friend named Tyler, whom he met via Snapchat’s “Quick Add” feature, and Tyler was supposed to take the baby to an adoption agency in Madison. Kruckenberg-Anderson even offered details about the man, offering a description of him and the SUV he was reportedly driving as well as saying he paid the individual $60 to drop of the baby to be adopted, the complaint said. Investigators also believe they have recovered the gun used to kill Harper. They say a juvenile turned in a firearm, saying Kruckenberg-Anderson gave it to him days earlier. The weapon’s caliber was consistent with the bullets and casings found at the scene.
January 14th: Unnamed Baby, Age 3 months- Wausau
A Wausau man has been arrested in relation to the death of an infant. According to Wausau Police Captain Ben Graham, police were notified on Saturday, January 9, of a 3-month-old at Aspirus Wausau Hospital with an unexplained life-threatening brain injury. He says a criminal investigation into the incident began immediately. Police say the infant was brought to the hospital by his mother and father. He was soon transferred to Marshfield Children’s Hospital for emergent and specialized care due to the extent of the injury and age of the infant. Reportedly, the infant died on January 14 of his injuries, an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday. On Friday, January 15, Ronnie D. Lofton, 39, was arrested, Police identify him as the infant’ father. Police are referring a preliminary charge of first degree reckless homicide to the Marathon County District Attorney’s Office. Lofton is expected in Marathon County District Court on Tuesday afternoon for a preliminary hearing. Police say if probable cause is found, an initial appearance will be scheduled for a later date. The investigation is ongoing.
January 15th: Racine shooting was an attempted murder-suicide
The Racine Police Department has confirmed that a Friday morning shooting inside a multifamily home near Downtown Racine ended in the suicide of the shooter. A woman was hospitalized after reportedly being shot in the chest. She remains hospitalized as of Tuesday, but is now in “stable condition,” Sgt. Chad Melby of the Racine Police Department said in an email.
The man accused of shooting her died after turning the gun on himself, according to Melby. The man has been identified as Donta Cook, 49, of Racine. The Journal Times is not releasing the name of the woman who was shot. The shooting occurred before 5:30 a.m. Friday in a six-unit building at the southwest corner of College Avenue and Eighth Street. A man who said he lives in the upstairs unit next to where the shooting was reported told The Journal Times last week he was awoken by gunshots — at least one bullet went through his apartment wall — followed by a woman who began banging on his door while screaming: “Help! Help! I’m going to die!” The woman was still conscious when paramedics took her away, the neighbor said. The man who was shot in the head did not appear to be alive when he was taken away, according to the neighbor. Neighbors said the man and the woman lived together and had moved into the building within the past month.
January 16th: Tommy J. Jones, Age 26- Milwaukee
A 26-year-old man was killed after being stabbed Saturday morning and a 33-year-old female was taken into custody by police. The incident occurred around 1:40 a.m. on the 2700 block of North 41st Street. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said the incident is domestic violence-related.
January 22nd: Terrence Vinz, Age 65 and Debra Meagher, Age 62- Rochester, WI
Sheriff’s officials say three people found fatally shot at a residence in Racine County last week were family members. Investigators believe 30-year-old Matthew Vinz killed his parents, whose bodies were found concealed in the home’s garage. Officials say 65-year-old Terrence Vinz and 62-year-old Debra Meagher had been dead “for a significant amount of time.” Deputies checking on the welfare of the family last Friday said they heard a single gunshot as they arrived at the home in the Village of Rochester, took a tactical position and set up a perimeter. They found the couple’s son dead from a self-inflicted gunshot in the home’s basement.
January 24th: Jolene Medeiros, Age 38 – Nelson, WI
A Buffalo County man could spend the rest of his life inside a prison for allegedly shooting his wife over the weekend. Jonathan P. Medeiros, 38, of Nelson is charged with one count of 1st degree intentional homicide. According to the criminal complaint filed in Buffalo County Court: Medeiros called authorities on Jan. 24 saying he had shot and killed his wife. When authorities arrived they found Jolene Medeiros with two gunshot wounds to her head. A deputy said as he was taking Jonathan into custody he once again admitted shooting his wife. An investigator said Jonathan told him, “I stood up out of bed, grabbed a shotgun, and shot once. She was screaming at me and I shot again.” The investigator said he could smell alcohol on Jonathan. Medeiros was in court on Tuesday where a $500,000 cash bond was set. He is slated to be back in court for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 5.
January 25th: murder-suicide leaves 2 men dead in Wisconsin Rapids
On January 25, the Wisconsin Rapids Police Department responded to a call for service at the 2100 block of 3rd Street South. According to police, they were called to the scene after what’s described as an out of town family member doing a welfare check discovered a body. Police say the deceased male had a “recent and apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound.” They then found another decease male within the home. The State Crime Laboratory-Madison also responded to help process the scene. A forensic autopsy was performed on the body of the second male. They say as a result of the investigation, it’s been determined that the first male discovered intentionally shot the second male, then later shot himself. Police say the men are brothers, suffered from medical issues, and had been residing at the home together for “some time.” Police say this is an isolated incident and the public is not in danger. No other information is being released at this time.
January 31st: Jovanni Frausto, Age 19 – Appleton, WI
Charges have been filed against a 17-year-old sought in connection to a fatal shooting at Fox River Mall. A criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News states Dezman Ellis has been charged with 1st Degree Intentional Homicide and 1st Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety. An arrest warrant has been issued for Ellis, 17. His blue Dodge Avenger was found in Oshkosh Monday, but Ellis remains on the run. Police say Ellis should be considered armed and dangerous. If you see him, do not approach him. Call police. The U.S. Marshals Service is assisting Grand Chute Police in the effort to arrest Ellis. “Our investigators are actively working with the Marshals Service to follow up on all tips as they are received. We are extremely thankful for the large volume of tips we have already received and ask the public to continue submitting tips and information to us,” says Officer Travis Waas. Police say Ellis shot and killed 19-year-old Jovanni Frausto Sunday in the mall food court during an argument over a girl. Another man, Colt Lemmers, was shot and injured. He was treated and released from the hospital.
Jovanni’s girlfriend told investigators that they went to the mall to eat at about 2:45 p.m. Jovanni and his girlfriend were accompanied by the girl’s niece. They were walking around when they came across a group of people they knew–one of them Dezman Ellis. The girlfriend said Jovanni and Dezman “started to exchange words.” Jovanni’s girlfriend told police that their argument was over a girl who was in Dezman’s group. About three months ago, Jovanni had been talking to the girl at the center of the dispute. Jovanni’s girlfriend said the girl had previously dated Dezman Ellis, but they were broken up when Jovanni was talking with her. Jovanni’s current girlfriend says during the argument at the mall, Dezman threatened Jovanni, saying, “I will shoot this place up, I will kill you.” She says Dezman Ellis started flashing a gun. She left the area with her niece and Jovanni took off running. “Jovanni ran straight and Dezman was chasing him with the gun,” says Jovanni’s girlfriend. She said Jovanni was not armed. A witness in Dezman Ellis’ group said Dezman had a black handgun. She heard two shots. She saw Jovanni Frausto hold his chest, fall into a table, and then to the ground.
Dezman’s friend said their group ran out of the mall and drove away. She told police she dropped Dezman off at his apartment in the 700 block of Woodland Av in Oshkosh. Another member of the group confirmed to police that Dezman had a gun and shot it. She stated that she believed Ellis still had the gun. Survivor Colt Lemmers told police that he had spotted a friend near the Panda Express in the mall when he heard someone say “drop the gun.” He turned around and heard a shot. After the first shot, he felt something hit his hip. He described the pain as “feeling like a bee sting.” That’s when he realized he had been shot. Police found two 9mm spent shell casings in the food court. A witness later told police that he saw Ellis and his brother loading a blue Dodge Avenger with clothing and other items at the apartment on Woodland Av. That was right before police arrived at the apartment. Jovanni Frausto suffered a wound to his chest and an exit wound through the back. He wat taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy determined the caust of death to be two gunshot wounds. Police later spoke with Dezman Ellis’ brother, who stated that Dezman told him that he shot someone at the mall. Jovanni’s girlfriend said they had not planned to meet with Dezman in the mall that day and it was a random occurance. Jovanni Frausto’s mother, Tanya, has set up a GoFundMe account, and is asking for donations to cover funeral expenses. On the page, she wrote “I never expected to have to bury my 19-year-old son to gun violence,” and “This is a difficult time for our family and we ask for your prayers.” CLICK HERE to donate to the GoFundMe. Jovanni’s uncle, JJ, says his nephew was a good kid. “His grandmother loved him. She has passed away in 2016, so I’m pretty sure grandma will take care of him,” says JJ Aponte.
February 14th: Kally Elliott, Age 41 – Janesville, WI
The family of a woman killed in a homicide at a Wisconsin Dells hotel has identified her as Kally Elliott of Janesville. Jonathann Elliott confirmed to 27 News his mother was the woman found dead at The Vue Hotel in Wisconsin Dells on Feb. 14. Jeremy Mondy, 34, has been arrested and charged with first-degree intentional homicide in Elliott’s death. He’s in the Columbia County Jail on $5 million bail. Mondy also faces charges of domestic abuse in Rock County. Authorities say Elliott was also the victim in that case. He was out on a signature bond when the homicide occurred. Jonathann Elliott says his mother’s killing was an escalation of her being victimized nearly her entire adult life. “Definitely a victim of domestic violence,” Elliott says of his mother. “There’s no other way around it.”
“We went through (domestic violence), for the majority of life to be honest,” Elliott says. “We went through it a long time, several different people,” he says.
“We want to make domestic violence more known than what it is because it’s more serious than what everybody thinks it is,” Elliott says. “It’s gotten so bad, especially since the (pandemic),” he says. Court records show Mondy allegedly strangled Kally Elliott and threatened to kill her days before the Valentine’s Day fatal violence. Records state Mondy claimed at first to have shot Elliott at the hotel during a struggle for a gun, but then revised his account to say he shot the woman in self-defense. Jonathann Elliott declines to comment on his mother’s relationship with Mondy, citing Mondy’s on-going prosecution.
Elliott’s fiance, Alexus Salvner says Kally Elliott was like a mother to her and a grandmother to her toddler children. Salvner says Kally Elliott deserves to be remembered as more than a victim. “She was strong, she was a fighter, she was a mother, a sister,” Salvner says. “She was so giving.” Salvner and Jonathann Elliott say they will continue to raise awareness of domestic violence and honor Kally Elliott in July on their wedding day. “We’re getting married on her birthday,” Salvner says. “And we’re going to incorporate the domestic violence purple into our wedding.” “We’re not going to let her memory die,” Salvner says. Family members say a GoFundMe page has been established in connection with Kally Elliott’s death to help them with costs for her cremation.
February 14th: Unnamed Baby, 39 days old – Racine, WI
RACINE — A Racine teenager has been charged with the murder of his own 1-month-old child. Shavale Powell, 17, of the 2000 block of 16th Street, was charged Monday with first-degree reckless homicide and two counts of physical abuse of a child after one of his children was found dead and another child was found with a bruise on his left eye. According to a criminal complaint: On Feb. 14, police and rescue responded to the 1800 block of LaSalle Street, Racine, to a 911 call for a pulseless, non-breathing infant. Upon arrival, the child, just 39 days old, was found deceased and cold. The parents of the child, born Jan. 6, were present and identified as Powell and Javian Clark, 18. Clark is listed as a co-defendant in Powell’s case. Racine County District Attorney Tricia Hanson said Monday afternoon that Clark will be charged Tuesday. Both parents reported that they had been the only caregivers the last week the child was alive. An examination by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the child died from abusive head trauma and ruled the death a homicide. The preliminary injuries described by the medical examiner were as follows:
- Blunt force injuries to the baby’s head: contusions of face, fracture of left parietal bone, subdural hemorrhage, optic nerve hemorrhages, bilateral.
- Blunt force injuries to the baby’s chest: contusions of the chest and back, multiple rib fractures.
- Blunt force injuries to the baby’s extremities: abrasions of right hand, contusions of the left lower ext
An arrest in the death was made Feb. 16, the Racine Police Department reported. The issue with the older child was later examined at the Racine County Children’s Advocacy Center, and the injury was ruled concerning for abuse. Investigators found that the 1-year-old had suffered an injury to his right eye on Feb. 4, 2020, when he was 5 months old and immobile. The child was seen at the emergency room that same day, and diagnosed with severe subconjunctival hemorrhage concerning blunt force trauma to the child’s right eye and face.
Also present at that time was a small scratch that was out of proportion to the size of the hemorrhage. Neither parent could explain any kind of trauma that would have resulted in such a serious injury to such a small child.
A preliminary hearing for Powell is scheduled for March 4 at 8:45 a.m., online court records show. His cash bond was set at $50,000 Monda
Online court records also show Powell is facing an October charge for disorderly conduct-domestic abuse.
February 14th: Gia Buccieri Martin, 39- Kenosha, WI
The boyfriend of a woman found dead at her home after being reported missing weeks before is expected to be charged with her death. Gia Buccieri Martin, 39, was reported missing on Jan. 26, with family saying she had last been seen the previous day. She was found dead on Feb. 14 at the home she shared with her boyfriend on the 5100 block of 14th Avenue. The boyfriend, Roderick Lamar Smith, 39, has been in custody at the Kenosha County Jail on a probation hold since the day Martin was found, as police continued to investigate the cause of her death. Smith is expected to be formally charged Wednesday.
February 19th: Daemyn Lucas, 6 weeks- Menomonie, WI
One count of first degree reckless homicide is filed today against a Menomonie man tied to the death of his six-week-old son.Cash bond is set at $30,000 for 28-year-old Jonathon Lucas. He’s scheduled to make an initial appearance in Dunn County Court Friday. A criminal complaint says law enforcement officers arrived at Lucas’s apartment on Feb. 19, and heard yelling coming from inside. When they entered, they noticed the baby, later identified as Daemyn Lucas, lying motionless on the kitchen counter. An officer started CPR, but Daemyn later died at a local hospital. A preliminary breath test taken that night showed Jonathan Lucas to have a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. He said couldn’t remember what happened to Daemyn. Lucas told investigators that he would take full responsibility for what happened to his son even through he believed he blacked out and could not remember what happened. An autopsy found traumatic head injuries due to physical assault as the case of death. The manner was listed as homicide. An assistant medical examiner told law enforcement that the injuries could not have been caused by an accident.
March 8th: Charniese Brown, Age 26, Kenosha WI
Ranon Brownlee was booked early Tuesday morning with recommended charges of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Charniese Brown, 26, of Kenosha. Police said Brownlee would be referred on domestic violence charges, as well. Kenosha Police officers were called to the home in the 1700 block of 73rd Street at 5:31 p.m. Monday by a woman who called 911 screaming that someone was trying to kill her. Friends on social media said Brown was the mother of several young children. Friends described Brown as a devoted parent, a “rock-star mom.”
Outside the home Tuesday morning, police tape surrounded the yard, which was scattered with children’s toys. Neighbors said Brownlee and Brown had lived together in the home for about a year, with a blended family of five or six children. A couple who lives next door, who did not want to be identified, said they were at home with their front door and windows open and had heard nothing until police vehicles sped up to the home. “The kids were out playing in the yard when it happened, the police yelled at them to get on the porch, and they ran across the street and were watching from the porch there,” one of the neighbors said.
The couple said they saw Brown lying on the ground in the narrow side yard between their houses. “They were working hard to save her life,” the neighbor said. He described Brown as being covered with blood, saying it appeared that she had been stabbed. “It just really breaks my heart that someone so young is gone,” the neighbor said. “… I can still see in my mind her body lying there.”
Although they said they did not know them well, the neighbors said the couple had been quiet and that Brown was friendly. Kris Coleman of Kenosha said he was on his way home from work when he saw police cars quickly approaching in his direction. Coleman said the squad cars “flew past me” while he was on his motorcycle. He realized the area they were headed to wasn’t far from his house about three blocks away. As Coleman arrived at the scene just east of Lincoln Park, at least a dozen squad cars were there, along with community services officer vehicles and two ambulances, he said. Coleman said he learned from the couple’s next-door neighbor that police had Brownlee surrounded and had held him at gunpoint. Neighbors said Brown had been stabbed in front of her children.
According to Coleman, other children who had been outside playing in the neighborhood apparently saw the grisly incident unfold, too, and he watched as officers talked with them. “It’s pretty sad that neighborhood kids had to witness that,” Coleman said. Coleman said police had handcuffed Brownlee, who was covered in blood, and that he sat in a chair outside a home before personnel placed him on a stretcher and then into one of the ambulances. He was taken away about 25 minutes later. Coleman also said officers stood guard between two homes where Brown’s body, covered by a tarp, remained. The medical examiner arrived several hours later. Coleman said his “prayers and thoughts” were with the family. “I hope the community can show their support for them and to come together for this,” he said.
Brownlee had been charged in October 2019 with domestic violence-related battery and disorderly conduct, the bond conditions indicating that Brown was the victim in that case. The charges were eventually dismissed. Multiple squad cars surrounded the neighborhood Monday night while police cordoned it off from spectators who stood outside, some with cameras. Some officers congregated at a home that was brightly lit on the outside while others stood at the scene, tape cautioning people not to cross. According to a police press release, officers were on scene within two minutes of receiving the 5:31 p.m. call. The release also stated that there is no threat to the community regarding the incident. The death is the fifth homicide in Kenosha this year, a number more typical in a full year in Kenosha County. Four of those five deaths appear to be related to domestic violence.
March 13th: DOJ investigating after body found in Crawfish River in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating after a man’s body was found in the Crawfish River Saturday morning. On Friday morning, the Columbus Police Department responded to a domestic incident at a home in Columbus, Wisconsin, DOJ said. Arriving officers saw a man running from the scene, but lost sight of him. Columbus police, along with the Columbia and Dodge County Sheriff’s Offices, conducted a search of the area Friday into the following morning, but did not find the man. Authorities believe the man later found in the river was the same man who ran away from the home. His identity has not yet been released. The investigation is being led by DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation.
March 13th: Tina Decorah, Age 42, and Duane Mallory, Age 33 – Lyndon, WI
Court documents from a double homicide in the town of Lyndon show authorities believe the victims were murdered using a baseball bat following an argument. Deputies from the Juneau County Sheriff’s Office found the bodies of Tina Decorah, 42, and Duane Mallory, 33, at a residence in the town of Lyndon during a welfare check March 15. Felix Rivera-Medina, 24, and Tina Decorah’s daughter, Makaela Decorah, 23, were taken into custody during the ensuing investigation. Rivera-Medina is charged with two counts of first degree intentional homicide as a party to a crime, two counts of felony theft from a corpse as a party to a crime, and felony harboring or aiding a felon. Decorah is charged with two counts of felony theft from a corpse as a party to a crime, felony harboring or aiding a felon and felony bail jumping.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the cases for both Rivera-Medina and Decorah, authorities believe Rivera-Medina murdered both individuals using a baseball bat later found at the residence. Rivera-Medina then joined Decorah at an acquaintance’s house before driving to Baraboo, where they paid for a hotel room using money taken from one of the victims’ purse.
The complaint shows authorities believe Decorah left the residence where she, Rivera-Medina, and the victims lived following an argument shortly after midnight March 15 and went to a nearby home. While at the home, a witness overheard Decorah speaking to Rivera-Medina asking “Wait, what happened? What did you do?” Decorah then told the witness Rivera-Medina had “beat them up.” Following the call, Decorah and the witness went to the residence, where Decorah picked up her children before returning to the witness’ house where Rivera-Medina later joined them. Rivera-Medina said he had taken one of the victim’s items from the home, including a purse, which Decorah went through for cash. Rivera-Medina stated he “got (one of the victims) pretty good” and dislocated his jaw, including that he “knocked his teeth out” and cracked the victim’s skull using a baseball bat. A later search of the residence where the victims’ lived found a baseball bat with red stains in the bedroom of Rivera-Medina and Decorah. Decorah, Rivera-Medina and her children were given a ride to Baraboo by the witness, who gave them $20 for a hotel room. The witness said the rest of the money for the hotel room came from the cash Decorah took from the victim’s purse. Authorities arrested the couple in Eau Claire on March 17. Messages from Decorah to the father of her children state Decorah said her mother “lost her mind” and that Decorah “beat the (expletive) outta her.” Decorah also texted that “Felix hit (a victim) with a bat. (Expletive) got crazy. I gotta get tf outta here too.” Rivera-Medina is set for an initial appearance April 13 at the Juneau County Justice Center. Judge Stacy Smith set a $1 million bond for Rivera-Medina at a hearing March 29, following requests from the state of a $2 million bond and from the defense of a signature bond. Decorah is set for an initial appearance April 14 at the Juneau County Justice Center. Judge Smith set a $240,000 bond for Decorah at a hearing March 29.
March 21st: Man shoots himself during standoff with deputies in Fond du Lac County
A man shot himself Sunday during a standoff with deputies in Fond du Lac County. Deputies responded around 12:15 a.m. to a reported argument between a man and a woman that involved a firearm at a home in Taycheedah, according to the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office. After interviewing the woman, deputies stopped a vehicle that left the home at County WH and County W. Officials said deputies found the man hiding in the trunk of the vehicle, and he pulled out a gun. Officials said deputies surrounded the vehicle and tried to negotiate with the man for several minutes before he shot himself. Deputies started medical treatment and the man was taken to a regional trauma center where he died. Officials said no deputies were injured and no deputies fired their guns. The Sheboygan County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an investigation of the shooting.
March 21st, Mai Rue (Lily) Vang, Age 30, Wausau, WI
The family of Mai Rue Vang, known as Lily Vang, is mourning her loss Monday. Lily’s sister, Feanna Vang, says Lily was a devoted yet goofy mother who cooked amazing meals that brought together her 17 siblings and their families. “To all of us, she had the biggest heart. She always gave more than what she received and what she had,” Vang said. “Her dedication as a mother, and as a sister for all of us, and a daughter, can definitely never be replaced for her children or us.” Feanna Vang says Lily loved her kids and wanted more than anything to have a baby girl, and her wish came true 7 months ago. Now Vang says it’s up to her family to take care of her daughter. Vang says this is a loss of someone who was always there when anyone needed help. “She, for friends, family, everyone who knew her, I would say she was everyone’s go-to person. She was definitely someone who always lent her shoulder for you to cry on, she was a very modest person and a wonderful mother to her children,” Vang said. Lily Vang worked as a nail artist and loved creating nail art. Her family had recently encouraged her to sell her own nail designs. The Vang family needs help paying funeral expenses for Lily. They’ve started a GoFundMe page that raised almost $9,000 by Monday evening. The Hmong community as a whole is also mourning Vang. “The fact that this happened here, it deeply affects many members of the community, especially since the Hmong community is a very tight-knit community, it sends a strong ripple effect throughout the entire community,” said Yee Leng Xiong, executive director of the Hmong American Center.
Vang, 30, was shot and killed on the 1300 Block of N. 9th Ave. Sunday morning. Umberto N. Lo was arrested at the scene and appeared in court Monday. Vang’s family says Lo was her boyfriend, and Wausau Police say Lo is known to the department from previous incidents. Police say how Lo was able to have a gun and walk free with felony charges pending is something they’re trying to answer in their ongoing homicide investigation. Deputy Chief Matthew Barnes was not able to share a motive, but called the situation tragic. “This is a horrible situation for this community, and all of our officers and our staff that are working on this case are keeping the victim’s family in our prayers,” Barnes said. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, Deputy Chief Barnes says, please seek help. You can call 800-799-SAFE or get help from trained Wausau Police Department staff or the Women’s Community. “This is a wonderful community we live in, because we have a tremendous amount of resources and people standing at the ready to help them. I would beg anyone in that situation to accept that help,” Barnes said.
April 1st: Cary Lynne Elkin, Age 42, Stone Lake, WI
A Stone Lake area man who was arrested on a tentative charge of hiding a corpse in a woman’s gunshot death appeared for a bond review hearing in Sawyer County Court Wednesday, April 7. The investigation continues into the woman’s death, which was a homicide, according to Sawyer County Sheriff Doug Mrotek. To date, authorities have not filed criminal charges in the incident. Timothy Patrick Elkin, 43, was arrested Friday, April 2, by Sawyer County sheriff’s officers after the body of 42-year-old Cary Lynne Elkin, Timothy Elkin’s wife, was found in her home on Hungry Lake Lane in the town of Sand Lake. The cause of death was gunshot wounds, according to the Sawyer County coroner.
Timothy Elkin subsequently appeared in court for a probable cause hearing, where Judge John Yackel ordered him held on a $25,000 cash bond. According to the probable cause document, at 12:29 a.m. April 2, a man called the Sawyer County dispatch center. He stated he was at the house of his friend, Timothy Elkin, at 7 p.m. April 1 and walked into a bedroom which did not have working lights. There, he said, he saw his friend’s wife deceased without a head. Sheriff’s deputies responded to the area and a deputy met with the caller. The caller said he was contacted by Timothy Elkin, who said he had not spoken with Cary Elkin in a few days and was concerned.
The caller told the deputy that that after he and Timothy located Cary deceased on the bedroom floor, they both left and agreed to call the police. He said he could not sleep and was “freaked out,” and decided to call the police because he knew that Timothy didn’t. Deputies then went to the residence and announced “sheriff’s department,” but received no response inside. They entered, where a deputy observed blood on the bathroom floor and observed a female’s foot, which was dark and had no movement. They observed blood stains on the floor and bed, and skull fragments on the floor. Deputies cleared the last room and left the residence. Deputies saw a note on the refrigerator which stated “I pistol whipped that bitch, worth it”, and “I ain’t payin’ for it.” Deputies started a crime scene log. The friend of Timothy Elkin said Timothy was texting him and was on his way to Hayward to report the incident. A city police officer and LCO tribal police officer located Timothy exiting Kwik Trip at 1:30 a.m. initiated a traffic stop, detained Timothy and took him to the jail. When contacted by a detective, Timothy Elkin stated he did locate Cary Elkin earlier in the day, however did not report the incident. Phone recording indicated that Timothy told Brandon he “needed a few hours to clean things up,” He did not report the corpse located at the Hungry Lake Lane house.
April 9th, 2021: Jesse O’Brien Age 36, Marshall, WI
A Rusk County man is being held on a recommended charge of homicide by intoxicated use of a firearm for allegedly shooting and killing his son on Friday evening. Police were called to a fight on Highway G in the town of Marshall on April 9 at 6:29 p.m. That is between Conrath and Sheldon, southeast of Ladysmith. When deputies arrived they found Jesse O’Brien, 36, of Sheldon dead from a gunshot wound. His dad, Scott O’Brien, 59, was arrested. No other details have been released by the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office.
April 17th, 2021: Unnamed Son, Age 16, Watertown, WI
A retired Watertown Police officer died by suicide after causing the death of his son, according to a press release from the Watertown Police Department. Watertown Police Detective Ben Olsen sent out a press release saying the Watertown Police Department had been called to check on the welfare of Douglas Teuteberg Friday. Watertown officers attempted to contact Teuteberg by phone and in person. Investigators pinged cell phones and attempted to contact at those locations as well. After their leads were exhausted, Watertown Police entered Teuteberg’s home, as community caregivers, where they found Teuteberg and his 16-year-old son dead.
Teuteberg retired from Watertown Police after 19 years in 2017. Due to his former employment, Watertown Police contacted the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office and the Wisconsin Department of Justice Crime Scene Unit to investigate. Dodge County Sheriff’s Office sent out a press release on Saturday stating that the investigation was underway in the death of the 52-year-old man and 16-year-old boy which had occurred at 909 Country Lane in Watertown. The sheriff’s office was called in at 3:42 a.m. Saturday to assist in the investigation. The sheriff’s office said the evidence at the scene indicates the incident was a homicide and suicide with the 52-year-old believed to be the actor. No other individuals are believed to be involved. The name of the teen is not being released. The Dodge County Medical Examiner’s Officer assisted at the scene.
April 23rd, 2021: Keandre Scott, Age 20, Starcey Chatman, Age 36 Milwaukee, WI
A Milwaukee man has been charged in two separate homicides that happened Friday, April 23. Prosecutors allege that Mharquelle Dixon, 19, shot and killed two people. The shootings happened less than a half-mile apart from one another. Dixon is charged with two counts of first-degree reckless homicide, one count of reckless injury, one count of possession of a firearm by a felon and one count of bail jumping. Police were called to the first scene, near 24th and Ash, around 4:45 p.m. on Friday afternoon. Officers found the victim on the ground outside a car, suffering gunshot wounds to the head and body. He did not survive. Detectives identified a bullet hole in the car’s driver’s side window, consistent with having been fired from inside the car. The car was on a jack with the hood up, being worked on at the time of the shooting, according to police. A witness who was working on the car told police Dixon and the victim were talking inside the car when he heard shots. He then saw a woman run out of the car, and Dixon run after the woman. He said he heard more gunshots, and assumed Dixon was shooting at the woman. Police spoke to that woman at the hospital where she was being treated for gunshot wounds. She said Dixon was in the backseat talking with the victim. The conversation didn’t seem “aggressive or heated” — then she suddenly heard gunshots.
Police were called to the second scene, near 24th and Clarke, around 11:20 p.m. on Friday night. Officers found the victim dead in the driver’s seat of his car with gunshot wounds to the head and chest. A witness said he noticed the car parked in the same spot for hours that afternoon. According to the complaint, he saw what he thought was a man sleeping inside, but did not want to be nosy, until around 11 p.m. when he heard a phone ringing in the car and the man didn’t wake. He then went to the car, believed the driver was dead, and called 911. About a minute after the 24th and Ash homicide, police were called to a grocery store roughly a block south of the scene for a report of a person with a gun. There, officers located Dixon who put his hands up and was taken into custody without incident. While being arrested, the complaint states, Dixon said he was involved in a nearby shootout “over $2,800 and family stuff.” The complaint states Dixon told store workers that his family was trying to kill him, and he admitted to putting two guns on the floor. Dixon later provided a statement, admitting to both killings. He said the victim of the 24th and Clarke homicide was his uncle. He also stated he believed his family was plotting to kill him.The two were in a car when the victim reached under his seat. Dixon said he then fired at the victim; he did not want to hurt him, but “felt he had to.” He then ran from the area. Dixon said he saw a vehicle that he thought was chasing him, possibly a cousin, whom he believed was armed. As he ran, the complaint states, he came upon the car where the 24th and Ash shooting unfolded. He said a man told him to get in the car, and he sat behind a woman who was in the front seat. While in the car, Dixon said the man talked to him for a few minutes before allegedly pointing a firearm. Dixon said he then shot the victim, disarmed him and chased after the woman; he thought about killing her, the complaint states. Court documents show Dixon had two prior felony convictions and an open case for a firearm offense.
April 23rd, 2021: Renee Hindes Caird, Age 52 Weston, WI
A man accused of stabbing a woman at least 38 times resulting in her death is facing a homicide charge, among other counts in Marathon County Circuit Court. A criminal complaint has been filed against 43-year-old David Morris in the April 23 death of 52-year-old Renee Caird. The Weston man was shot and wounded by police who responded to Caird’s call for help, the state Department of Justice said. Morris is charged with first-degree intentional homicide with a domestic abuse repeater modifier, false imprisonment, obstructing an officer and two counts of recklessly endangering safety with use of a dangerous weapon.
April 26th, 2021: Kai Ivy, Age 2 months, Milwaukee, WI
A 20-year-old Milwaukee man has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide after telling police he shook his 2-month-old son more than a day before he died of blunt force trauma to the head. If convicted, Jakob Ivy faces up to 60 years in prison, according to court documents. He is in the Milwaukee County Jail with cash bail set at $5,000. His son has been identified as Kai Ivy by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office. He died in the early morning of April 26 after his father reported he was unresponsive and not breathing, police said. First responders were able to locate a pulse, but he died after being hospitalized.
According to the criminal complaint: First responders were called to the 300 block of North 29th Street, in the west side neighborhood of Merrill Park, about 2:30 a.m. Ivy told police that he woke up at 2 a.m. and found his son awake. After feeding and trying to burp him, Ivy said he noticed his son’s breathing was shallow and his heartbeat sounded slowed. Ivy initially denied to police he had shaken his son but later admitted to shaking him front to back and side to side at some point on April 24. The next day, his son appeared to be sleepy and lethargic, he said.
May 3rd, 2021: Kenosha Monday night domestic incident ends in suicide
A domestic disturbance ended in a suicide Monday night. According to police radio reports, a woman called 911 at 7:45 p.m. Monday saying that a man she had a 72-hour no-contact order against had come to her apartment in the 1300 block of 30th Avenue and had a gun. When police arrived they found the man slumped over in a van in the parking lot. The “incident concluded with the offender taking their own life,” Lt. Joe Nosalik said on Twitter. There were no other injuries. Nosalik said police would not be releasing additional information on the incident.
May 5th, 2021: Jan Hyatt, Age 37, Sun Prairie, WI
Couple identified in Sun Prairie’s double death investigation: The medical examiner’s office have identified the Sun Prairie residents found dead on South Legacy Way on May 5. Jan V. Hyatt, age 37, and Chad A. Rury, age 35, died of gunshot wounds, according to Dane County Medical Examiner preliminary autopsy reports released on Wednesday, May 12.
Hyatt and Rury were pronounced dead at the scene around 5:45 p.m. last Wednesday, May 5. Police were called to the home on the 300 block of South Legacy Way for a welfare check. Sun Prairie Police Sgt. Ryan Cox said last week that the evidence indicated that Rury’s gunshot wounds were self-inflicted. The deaths remains under investigation by the Sun Prairie Police Department with additional testing by the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office.
May 10th, 2021: Susan Pickett, Age 54, Avoca, WI
A 21-year-old man has been identified as the suspect in the killing of his mother at an Iowa Co. home earlier this week. On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Dept. of Justice stated Sean Pickett was arrested in connection with the homicide and had his initial court appearance on Wednesday. According to the state agency, which is leading the investigation, Pickett is accused of killing 54-year-old Susan Pickett, whose body was discovered around 3:30 p.m. Monday at a home in the 200 block of William St., in Avoca. The DOJ previously indicated law enforcement responded to the residence around 3 p.m. after Sean Pickett called to report his mother’s death. He was still at the location when authorities arrived. Village of Avoca Police Dept. officers responded to the residence and found Susan Pickett and a dog, who were both dead inside of the residence. Police had observed blood smears on Sean Pickett’s pants, shirt and shoes. Officers took Sean Pickett into custody and he was interviewed by the DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation. Pickett allegedly stated during the interview that he had killed his mother using a knife to stab her neck and then a metal pole to strike her body and head. He also stated that he allegedly killed his dog. The district attorney did not state what Sean Pickett’s motive was in the alleged homicide.
The district attorney explained that based on the statement’s made and evidence observed, Sean Pickett was arrested on the alleged charge of first degree intentional homicide, which if convicted, is punishable by life in prison. The attorney continued, saying Sean Pickett was also charged with a felony of alleged intentional mistreatment of an animal resulting in death, which is punishable of a fine up to $10,000 or a 3-and-a-half year prison sentence, or both, if convicted. The court ordered a cash bond of up to $100,000 for Sean Pickett. If he posts bond, he will also be subject to GPS monitoring and is prohibited from having or using a weapon. He will also not be allowed to leave the state. His next appearance in court is scheduled for 3 p.m. May 24. The Dept. of Justice described her death as an isolated incident. The investigation into Susan Pickett’s death is still ongoing. The Dept. of Justice explained when its Division of Criminal Investigation, which is working with the Iowa Co. Sheriff’s Office and Village of Avoca Police Dept., wraps up the investigation, it will submit its findings to the Iowa Co. District Attorney’s Office.
May 18th, 2021: , Elijah Johnson Age 22, Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee woman has been charged with the shooting death of a 22-year-old man near 29th and Wisconsin on Tuesday, May 18. Tequila Collins, 21, has been charged with two counts:
- First-degree reckless homicide, domestic abuse, use of a dangerous weapon
- Second-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon
Surveillance footage from inside the apartment building shows Collins and the victim were moving items from the building around 12:20 p.m. Tuesday. Footage shows Collins allegedly shoot at the victim from the top of a stairwell, striking him in the back at the bottom of the stairs. The victim was aided by citizens outside the building as Collins ran from the scene, according to a complaint. The victim was pronounced dead at the hospital less than an hour later. An autopsy showed he died from a single gunshot wound to the lower back. A police report stated the incident stemmed from an argument. A 9mm shell casing was found at the scene. Collins was later identified by the apartment’s manager. When approached by police, Collins admitted to the shooting, originally saying the gun was supposed to “be safe” and “went off,” a complaint read. She then went on to say she shot at him to “scare him while aiming at the glass window next to him.” Text messages revealed Collins was involved in another shooting near 18th and Vienna the day before on Monday, May 17. Police had responded to the area for a shot spotter call and found a 9mm shell casing, but were unable to find a victim. Witnesses placed Collins at the scene, though she initially denied being involved and said she just shot her gun in the air, a complaint said. Count two is reflective of this incident. If convicted, Collins could face up to 75 years in prison. No date has been set for a future court appearance.
May 19th, 2021: Unnamed Grafton Woman, Age 29, Menomonee Falls, WI
A Washington County corrections officer on May 19 shot and killed a 29-year-old Grafton woman before taking his own life in his Menomonee Falls apartment, according to the Menomonee Falls Police.Phillip Marker, 33, was a corrections officer with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. Marker was appointed to that position on April 24, 2017, and was assigned to the night shift. Before he was employed through the county, he served in the Marine Corps from 2007 to 2012. According to Menomonee Falls police, a concerned family member called police around 11:20 a.m. about the welfare of a person in an apartment at 17300 block of Appleton Avenue. The police department entered the apartment and found Marker and a woman who had both died of apparent gunshot wounds. An investigation later confirmed that finding and indicated Marker took his own life. He knew the female victim, police said.
According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office news release, corrections officers do not use firearms as part of their employment. “We ask that you join us in giving your thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by this tragedy,” the release said. “This senseless and brutal act of violence ended two lives far too early and brings sorrow to us all.” The shooting marks the second domestic violence death in Menomonee Falls in the past several months. In September, a 20-year old Menomonee Falls woman, Symone Hughes, was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend.
If you need help
Sojourner Family Peace Center, Wisconsin’s largest provider of domestic violence prevention and intervention services, runs a 24-hour hotline for domestic abuse survivors at 414-933-2722. Sojourner’s website is www.familypeacecenter.org. All calls are confidential; services are free. Milwaukee County residents can also visit www.weareheremke.org for more resources that are more specific to various cultures or situations. The Women’s Center, 505 N. East Ave., Waukesha has a 24/7 hotline at 262-542-3828. Its website is www.twcwaukesha.org. Ozaukee County residents experiencing domestic abuse can reach out to Advocates of Ozaukee for help. This organization runs two 24-hour hotlines at 262-284-6902 and 877-375-4034, and can also be reached at www.advocatesofozaukee.com.
May 20th, 2021: Carlos A. Cruz Portillo, Age 27, Janesville, WI
The Rock County Medical Examiner’s Department has released the names of the men involved in what police have called a murder-suicide in Janesville on May 20. The men are Carlos A. Cruz Portillo, 27, of Janesville, and Phong Thao, 43, of Madison. Janesville police have said they believe the shooter in the incident was a 43-year-old Madison man.
Cruz Portillo and Thao were both pronounced dead at the scene, and autopsies confirmed they died from “firearm-related trauma,” according to a news release from the medical examiner. The medical examiner’s office is conducting “additional testing,” according to the Friday news release. Investigators believe Thao was involved in a domestic relationship with a Madison woman, and the two had a child together. The woman and the two men all worked at B&G Foods in Stoughton. Thao suspected that Cruz Portillo and the woman were together, went to the Town and Country Mobile Home Park, 1105 Kellogg Ave., on the night of May 20. Police believe Thao shot Cruz Portillo “multiple times” and then shot himself with a handgun in the presence of the woman, said Janesville police Lt. Chad Pearson.
June 6th, 2021: Bernard Waite, Age 87, Sparta, WI
New details have been released in a case involving a man who is receiving six charges after attacking three people in the Town of Sparta, killing one person, earlier this month. According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, 36-year-old Thomas Aspseter attacked 87-year-old Bernard Waite, 76-year-old Michael Waite, and 73-year-old Margaret Waite with an axe, killing Bernard Waite on June 6. New information from the Sheriff’s Office shows that Aspseter used to live with Bernard and his wife. After being away for the weekend, the Waites returned to find Aspseter had returned and broken into the home. After being told to leave, the attack ensued, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Michael is still hospitalized, while Margaret has been treated for her injuries and released. Aspseter is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, two counts of attempted first-degree Intentional homicide, and three counts of aggravated battery with the use of a dangerous weapon.
June 7th, 2021: Christina A. Durkee, Age 72, Fort Atkinson, WI
A Fort Atkinson woman told police she killed her 72-year-old grandmother last week, claiming the elder had said she wanted to die, by covering her nose and mouth with duct tape, according to court documents. Then five days later, Elizabeth M. Durkee told police, she set her grandmother’s bedding on fire, which set the house ablaze, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday. Durkee, 36, of Fort Atkinson, was charged with first-degree intentional homicide, arson, strangulation and mutilating a corpse, for a series of events that culminated in a Friday morning fire that brought authorities to the Foster Street home in Fort Atkinson. While at first it had appeared that Durkee’s grandmother had died in the fire, an autopsy found she had died well before that, the complaint states. Investigators had also noticed when her body was found that it had begun to decompose, according to the complaint. Durkee was arrested early Saturday at a motel in Delavan, where she was found with her 2-year-old daughter. The child was put in the care of other family members. Durkee’s grandmother was not identified by name in the complaint. According to Jefferson County property records, the home at 415 Foster St. is owned by Christina A. Durkee. Court records also list her as having lived at that address since at least the early 1990s. Durkee appeared in court Tuesday where bail was set at $1 million. She will be back in court for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 6. The homicide charge carries a mandatory life prison sentence.
According to the complaint: Fort Atkinson police and fire responded to the fire at the home. A neighbor said she had seen a woman and a small child leave just before the fire, but did not know if an older person who lived at the home was still inside. Rescuers were unable to get inside because of the intense flames. Police knew the home’s occupants and called the older person’s daughter, who said her own daughter, Elizabeth Durkee, and her daughters had been living at the home with the older person. Attempts by police to reach Durkee by phone were unsuccessful. Video from a camera on the nearby Hoard Museum, which backs onto Foster Street, showed a silver car back out of the driveway at 10:44 a.m., and by 10:46 a.m., smoke was visible from the front window of the home. The daughter of the victim said the victim had wanted to leave the house to Durkee because she did not want Durkee to be homeless. Durkee’s 17-year-old daughter had been living there but moved out, after becoming “stressed out” living there, the victim’s daughter told police. When an agent from the state Division of Criminal Investigation contacted the 17-year-old Friday night, she said her mother, Durkee, had said she wanted to put the victim out of her misery. She said Durkee told her she hoped her grandmother would fall, or that Durkee could smother her with a pillow, or that she would die in a fire at the home, or a tornado would hit the house.
Several hours later, police located Durkee and her younger daughter at the Super 8 Motel in Delavan. They forced their way into her room when she did not answer the door. Durkee told police she lived at the home with her 2-year-old daughter and her grandmother, who was in poor health. She had advanced Parkinson’s disease and diabetes, was blind, and had suffered a stroke in March. She was bedridden much of the time, Durkee said, and required constant assistance. But as her health declined, she feared going to a nursing home, Durkee said. She claimed her grandmother said she did not want to live anymore and wanted to be with her late husband. On June 7, as Durkee made dinner, she said she and her grandmother talked about Durkee helping end her life. Durkee said she didn’t know how she would do that.
After helping her grandmother to bed later, her grandmother again said she wanted to be with her husband. She and Durkee then said they loved one another. Durkee said she then covered her grandmother’s nose and mouth with flower-colored duct tape. After about two minutes, she said, her grandmother stopped moving. Durkee said she covered her grandmother with a blanket and later removed the duct tape. Durkee said she didn’t leave the house for two days and spent most of the week wondering what to do. She decided against calling an ambulance. On Thursday, she noticed her grandmother was decaying. She tried to mask the smell but then decided to burn the house with herself and her younger daughter inside. She poured gasoline on furniture on the first floor, but decided not to start a fire. Then on Friday morning around 9 a.m., she told police, she packed up some things for her daughter, went into her grandmother’s bedroom and lit a blanket on fire. She and her daughter then left in a car, she told police.
June 14th, 2021: Kathleen N. Beggs, Age 97, Center, WI
The 37-year-old Rock County man accused of killing his 97-year-old grandmother told police officers and family members he was both seeing and hearing demons at the time. Jamie Beggs now faces first-degree intentional homicide for allegedly killing his grandmother Kathleen Beggs earlier this month at her home in the Town of Center. According to a criminal complaint, Beggs had been living with his grandmother prior to her death. On the morning of June 14, the complaint says a third person, whose name has been redacted, but was named in court as the victim’s son, stopped by the home. According to the complaint, Beggs asked the person if they could “see the demons” before telling them his grandmother was in the garage. The complaint then details the scene of the homicide.
A judge set Beggs’ bail at $100,000 in cash during an initial appearance Friday afternoon. Under his bond, he is not allowed to have contact with the victim’s children, possess a weapon or drink alcohol. “This is an extraordinarily violent case,” said Rock County Assistant District Attorney Alex Goulart. “This isn’t a ‘whodunnit’ type case. This is a case where the victim, victim 2, shows up to the house and the only people there are his dead mother, the decedent and the defendant.” Prior to his arrest, Beggs had 13 previous convictions, including five for domestic violence. Kathleen Beggs’ other relatives asked the court to consider a stronger bond. “My grandmother was the only person that saw good in Jamie and he destroyed her,” said Kate Fitzgerald, who spoke in court Friday afternoon. “I understand that you, that someone is innocent until proven guilty, but with his history of violence and his history of not showing up to court, I feel that bond should be set upwards of $250,000.”
“What difference does it make if it’s $100,000 or $250,000, except for what it looks like in the newspaper?” asked defense attorney Frank Raff. “It could be $10 or Monopoly money. He has no money to post. The fact is he’s going to remain in custody until this case is over if the judge sets a cash bail.” According to the complaint, Beggs told police his grandma was a “martyr” and said her death gave her “sainthood.” Beggs will make his next appearance in court July 6 at 1 p.m.
June 29th, 2021: Hannah Miller, Age 26, Pelican, WI
Authorities say a number of factors helped them quickly identify a homicide victim’s ex-boyfriend as the suspect in her death. The body of Hannah Miller, 26, was found near River Bend Road near Highway 8 around 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning. The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department identified Christopher Terrell Anderson, 30, as the suspect and released his photo along with two photos of SUVs he may be driving just two hours later.
Court documents state two eyewitnesses played a key role in the quick dissemination of information. The two people called 911 after finding a woman in the ditch. They also said only 15 minutes earlier they had been down the same road and saw a man and woman outside of a white SUV. When they passed by the scene later, the vehicle and man were gone, but the woman’s body was in the ditch. One of the witnesses was shown a photo of Anderson and told authorities that was the man she saw outside of the SUV the first time they drove by. At the scene, investigators found three spent shell casings and three live rounds. They did not find a gun, but during the course of the investigation made contact with a person near the scene that said he heard two to four gunshots.
Court documents say Miller and Anderson had been in a relationship for several years but had broken up in recent weeks. Friends of Miller told investigators the relationship was abusive. On June 2, Miller reported to police Anderson had one of her vehicles and would not give it back. During that investigation, Miller said she feared Anderson would kill her. A family member told authorities while Anderson did move out of the apartment the couple once shared, he likely still had a key. Authorities confirmed Thursday, the couple’s child is safe and is with family. Anderson is not in custody. Prosecutors have already filed a charge of first-degree intentional homicide. If you have any information about the whereabouts of Christopher Terrell Anderson call the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department at 715-351-5201.
July 1st, 2021: Bart Halderson, Age 50, Windsor, WI
Human remains that were discovered during a search for a missing Wisconsin couple are those of the husband, the Dane County Medical Examiner said Monday. Authorities said the remains found Thursday night in the town of Cottage Grove are those of Bart Halderson, 50, of Windsor. The cause of death was listed as “homicidal violence including firearm injury.” The Dane County District Attorney’s office said it expects to charge Chandler Halderson, the couple’s 23-year-old son, in his father’s death, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.
Chandler Halderson reported Bart and Krista Halderson missing on Wednesday and was arrested Thursday on a charge of providing false information to investigators. The son told police his parents had planned to spend the July Fourth weekend at their cabin in White Lake in Langlade County with an unknown couple but that they never returned. Interviews with the couple’s family, friends and neighbors led investigators to a property in the county Thursday where they found Bart Halderson’s remains. Krista Halderson, 53, remains missing.
July 4th, 2021: Narianna Statten, Age 18, Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee Police are still searching for the person who killed an 18-year-old woman Sunday night. Police said the woman was shot and killed around 11:35 p.m. near 26th and Burleigh. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Police confirmed an Amber Alert that was activated around 4 a.m. on Monday and then later canceled for a 1-year-old child, is connected to the homicide. The suspect, Renado Hall, forcibly took the child while armed with a handgun and fled in an unknown direction, according to police. The child was later found safe, but police are still searching for Hall. Family of Narianna Staten say they will remember her “amazing smile and love for others.” Rynesha Staten, her cousin, tells CBS 58 “no matter how many dark times she faced, her light never dimmed.”
The Asha Project Director Antonia Drew Vann said domestic violence incidents, like Staten’s, spiked during the pandemic. “The amount of anger and stress, the arguments, all of these are coming from somewhere,” Drew Vann said. “We know she was trying to distance herself from him, and that is when women are in the most danger.” Drew Vann said the victim and family members might notice different behaviors in situations like this. Those need to be taken seriously. “There’s a number of signs that are there, but often times, women don’t want to believe they are going to die,” Drew Vann said. If a weapon is involved, Drew Vann said the victim should find a safe space and believe any threats the person is making. “When a perpetrator has a gun, has access to a weapon, that makes the female 500 times more likely to die,” Drew Vann said. While this advice is too late to save Staten, Drew Vann said there are several organizations in Milwaukee that can help women immediately. “There are resources and support within the community that were culturally designed by and for those populations,” Drew Vann said. Milwaukee Police continue to seek a known suspect. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Milwaukee Police at (414) 935-7360 or Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-TIPS or P3 Tips App to remain anonymous.
July 4th, 2021: Keairra C. Fields, Age 31, Madison, WI
Madison police say they now have a person of interest in custody in a homicide that happened over Fourth of July weekend. The Dane County Medical Examiner on Wednesday identified the victim as 31-year-old Keairra C. Fields, of Madison, who died after being shot about 1:30 a.m. Sunday in the 1700 block of Onsgard Road on Madison’s Far East Side. Police are investigating Fields’ death as an act of domestic violence, and there had been a history of domestic disturbances between her and the person of interest who was taken into custody in Indiana on an unrelated charge, Capt. Daniel Nale said. Fields and that man had recently moved to Madison from another community in Dane County, Nale said. Police had multiple contacts with the couple where they used to live, but Madison police only had one, Nale said. That domestic disturbance call did not result in an arrest, he said, but the man had been ordered by a judge not to have contact with the woman.