MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A judge on Thursday ordered a former Wisconsin sheriff's deputy to stand trial in the shooting deaths of his wife and sister-in-law.
Police found the bodies of Andrew Steele's wife, Ashlee Steele, and his sister-in-law, Kacee Tollefsbol, at the Steeles' home in Fitchburg, a Madison suburb, on Aug. 22.
Tollefsbol told police before she died that her brother-in-law had shot her, according to court documents. Prosecutors charged Andrew Steele last week with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide.
"A reasonable person would conclude a crime was committed and the defendant committed it," Dane County Circuit Judge Steven Ebert said at a brief preliminary hearing Thursday.
The only witness who testified was Matthew Wiza, a Fitchburg detective who was the first officer to reach the Steele home.
He told Assistant District Attorney Andrea Raymond that when he responded to a call of a gunshot victim in the Steele's basement shortly before 1pm, he found a haze of smoke in the backyard and blood on the patio. He said he heard a woman crying out that she was dying and found Tollefsbol, 38, covered in blood in a basement rec room.
He immediately asked her who had shot her and she said it was her brother-in-law. She was unable to answer any further questions, Wiza said, because "her health was declining." He later learned that she had been shot in the torso, he said.
Court documents indicate Tollefsbol had called 911 and told a dispatcher that her brother-in-law had shot her.
Wiza said he later learned that a SWAT team discovered Ashlee Steele, 39, shot in the head in the master bedroom and found Andrew Steele sitting in a laundry room with a pistol. The former deputy had started the dryer and vented it back into the room and he had set up a grill loaded with hot charcoal in the room.
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