(Lebanon) An Ixonia woman, accused of helping cover-up the murder of a Beaver Dam man, made her initial appearance in a Dodge County courtroom Tuesday. Dakota Schlesner is facing a felony count of Hiding a Corpse as a Party to a Crime.
Nigel Schultz of Portage was convicted last month of First-Degree Intentional Homicide in the death of Bradlee Gerke. The 21-year-old at first denied the crime but later confessed to shooting the victim with a 38-Derringer and a .22-rifle a total of sixteen times. Rebecca Wolc of Beaver Dam is also implicated, facing one felony count of Harboring or Aiding a Felon.
Gerke’s body was found last Halloween when a property owner in Ashippun called authorities. 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.
According to the criminal complaint, when Schultz was interviewed by police he reportedly admitted to calling Schlesner – his ex-girlfriend – shortly after the murder. Schultz alleges that Schlesner offered to help him hid the body and said that she agreed to keep quiet about the incident. Schultz reportedly tried unsuccessfully to place Gerke’s body into a 50-gallon burn barrel before burying it in the shallow grave.
Schlesner, who lived on the property where Gerke’s body was found, allegedly admits to covering the burial site with sticks, grass and dirt. She reportedly told law enforcement that she was (quote) “very scared” of Schultz after seeing the body and believed he would do the same to her if she said anything. Schlesner also allegedly said that she helped (quote) “hide the body that [Schultz] killed.”
If convicted, Schlesner is facing up to 12-and-a-half years in prison. A signature bond was set at $5000 and a judge will decide in two weeks if there is enough evidence to order a trial.