(Juneau) A Portage man charged in connection with the homicide of a Beaver Dam man is heading to trial. A preliminary hearing was held Thursday for Nigel Schultz on felony charges of First Degree Intentional Homicide in the death of Bradlee Gerke. The 20-year-old is implicated along with Rebecca Wolc of Beaver Dam who is facing one felony count of Harboring or Aiding A Felon.
Dodge County Sheriff’s Detective Michael Willmann, who was dispatched to the property in the Town of Lebanon on Halloween, was called to testify by the state. Willmann stated he located the body in a shallow grave covered in fresh dirt, hay and grass. According to the criminal complaint, the body as also covered in gasoline and investigators found burned grass and part of a skull nearby. The defense asked few questions during cross-examination other than to establish that Schultz told law enforcement that other parties were at the property. Judge Brian Pfitzinger found probable cause to bound the case over for trial and an arraignment hearing is scheduled for January 30.
The property owner told investigators that his daughter identified the suspect as Schultz, who is her ex-boyfriend. Schultz was taken into custody on a parole violation at the Lakecrest Apartments in Beaver Dam.
During that arrest, Wolc made contact with police at the front door and allegedly told them that Schultz was not there. A second female eventually left the residence and she informed authorities of Schultz’s presence.
When interviewed by investigators, Schultz initially maintained that the property owner was the one who shot the victim and he only stole the victim’s phone and Food Share Card. Schultz later allegedly confessed to shooting Gerke in the back of the head with a 38-Derringer and a .22-rifle. Gerke was shot ten times in the back of his head and six times in the chest. Schultz reportedly stated that Gerke was going to report him to law enforcement for an apparent parole violation.
During the interview, Schultz implicated another individual who aided him in the attempted disposal of the body. No additional charges have been filed in the case.
The murder was reported on Halloween but reportedly took place three days earlier. When Wolc was questioned by authorities, the 32-year-old reported seeing the body shortly after the shooting and said she did not call 911 because she was (quote) “kind of scared, really kind of scared.” Wolc will be arraigned on January 16.