Portage Man Enters Not Guilty Plea To Homicide Charges

(Juneau) A Portage man charged in connection with the homicide of a Beaver Dam man was arraigned Wednesday. Nigel Schultz entered a not guilty plea to a felony count of First Degree Intentional Homicide in the death of Bradlee Gerke. The 21-year-old is implicated along with Rebecca Wolc of Beaver Dam who is facing one felony count of Harboring or Aiding A Felon.

The property owner called authorities on Halloween reporting that there could be a body in his cow pasture. He told investigators that his daughter identified the suspect as Schultz, who is her ex-boyfriend.

According to the criminal complaint, investigators found burned grass with spots of blood and part of a skull; Gerke’s body was found in a shallow grave in a nearby tree line covered in gasoline.

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. But later, Schultz 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 allegedly 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, she 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.”