MADISON, Wis. (WCCO/AP) — Prosecutors have charged a former Wisconsin sheriff’s deputy with killing his wife and sister-in-law last week.
Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne filed two charges of first-degree intentional homicide against Andrew Steele on Friday. Steele would face mandatory life in prison if convicted. A court commissioner set bail at $1 million.
Detectives believe Steele killed his wife, Ashlee Steele, and his sister-in-law, Kacee Tollefsbol, of Lake Elmo, Minnesota, in the Steeles’ home in Fitchburg, a Madison suburb, on Aug. 22.
According to the complaint, Tollefsbol called 911 and said that she had been shot by her brother-in-law. When officers got to the scene, they heard her saying “I am dying. I am dying.” They carried her out of the basement-level doorway and brought her to an ambulance.
After establishing a perimeter, responders located Andy Steele inside the laundry room. He had started a fire in a small portable grille, and the entire room was hot, officers noted. He had a loaded gun hidden under blankets, the complaint said, and when he saw police, he resisted being taken into custody.
Officers found 39-year-old Ashlee Steele dead on the couple’s bed with a pillow over her chest and a sleep mask on her face, according to the complaint. The pillow had what looked like a whole from a muzzle blast. She had been shot in the head, and also had a black zip tie around her neck.
Steele resigned from the Dane County Sheriff’s Department in June after he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The two victims’ sister-in-law told police that on them morning of her death, Ashlee Steele was working to organize an ice bucket challenge event.
A funeral was held for both victims on Friday afternoon.
Steele’s attorney said her client respects the criminal justice system and will work within it to see the case to its conclusion.
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