MENOMONIE — One of three people charged in connection with the death of a Hayward man at a rural Dunn County residence has pleaded not guilty.
Chad D. Turgeson, 38, of Eau Claire, entered the plea Wednesday in Dunn County Court.
The victim in the incident has been identified as Bruce E. McGuigan, 37.
Judge James Peterson ordered Turgeson to file any motions by March 9, the same day he is scheduled to return to court.
Co-defendants Ryan L. Steinhoff, 37, of Birnamwood, and Ashley A. Gunder, 24, of St. Anthony, Minn., return to court March 5 for a status conference and preliminary hearing, respectively. Steinhoff previously pleaded not guilty.
Steinhoff, Turgeson and Gunder remain in the Dunn County Jail on $500,000 cash bails.
According to the criminal complaint:
Dunn County sheriff’s deputies were called at 3 p.m. Nov. 17 to a residence on 440th Street in the town of Dunn on a report of a man who was badly injured there.
When deputies arrived at the residence, Gunder exited the home along with a dog.
Gunder said there was a man inside the residence who was believed to be deceased.
Authorities entered the residence and found McGuigan lying on the floor of a bedroom with visible lacerations on his head. A large amount of blood was on his face and the floor. There was also blood on a white mattress that was propped up vertically against a wall.
Authorities determined McGuigan was dead.
The owner of the residence said his home had been broken into while he was away. He returned to find the three defendants and the victim inside the residence. The owner was told that McGuigan was taught a lesson after being “schooled.”
Gunder remained at the residence while Turgeson and Steinhoff left. Gunder told authorities Turgeson killed McGuigan while she was supposed to clean up the mess.
Gunder said she was unaware that McGuigan was going to be killed. But because of how “it all went down,” Gunder believed it was the intention of Turgeson and Steinhoff to kill McGuigan from the start.
Gunder said she and Steinhoff picked McGuigan up in Hayward and brought him to the Dunn County residence. Gunder said McGuigan was beaten for about 90 minutes. She could hear a body being hit and McGuigan saying that “he didn’t do it.”
As far as she knew, Gunder said, McGuigan was being accused of kidnapping a woman.
Turgeson told authorities McGuigan was beaten by Steinhoff and denied ever kicking or striking the victim during the incident. Steinhoff admitted to striking McGuigan with his fists and a wooden bed post, and kicking him.
Authorities recovered multiple items at the residence that were believed to have been used during the incident including a hammer, knives and a wooden table leg.
An autopsy performed Nov. 18 at the Ramsey County (Minn.) Medical Examiner’s Office in St. Paul showed McGuigan’s death was caused by multiple blunt force injuries to the head and torso and stab wounds.
The autopsy showed McGuigan was stabbed in the right shoulder and right leg. McGuigan had several rib and facial fractures and a deep laceration to the back of his head. He also had a brain hemorrhage.