Camp Douglas man charged with homicide for 2018 crash near La Valle

May 1, 2019

A Camp Douglas man has been charged with homicide for a fatal January 2018 crash near La Valle in which authorities say he was driving while intoxicated.

Mark S. Josett, 39, appeared by video feed Tuesday in Sauk County Circuit Court, where Judge Wendy Klicko set a cash bond of $50,000 and ordered that Josett maintain absolute sobriety and not possess any controlled substances without a valid prescription.

Makenzee Carpenter, 18, of Reedsburg, died in the crash of what an autopsy later determined to be head trauma.

According to a criminal complaint filed last week, on Jan. 8, 2018, a caller reported that a car had flipped over on Thompson Road north of North Dutch Hollow Road.

A Sauk County Sheriff’s deputy who responded to the scene reported seeing a body lying on the ground next to a “heavily damaged” Toyota Prius. The deputy spoke to Josett, who allegedly said another man had been driving the vehicle and walked away from the crash.

Josett told authorities his brother and a woman had picked him up earlier in the evening, and they were driving back to a residence in Camp Douglas.

The deputy on scene observed the vehicle had appeared to have traveled northbound on Thompson Road when it approached a curve, drove off the west side of the road, struck a large embankment and overturned to land on its wheels, according to the complaint.

After numerous interviews with Josett and multiple witnesses, a detective determined Josett had been driving the vehicle when it crashed, the complaint says. The detective also allegedly found that Josett had been drinking on the day of the crash.

Josett’s brother allegedly told a detective, “she died in my arms,” referring to Carpenter. He said Josett tried to find help while he tried to help Carpenter and started a fire for warmth.

Josett allegedly told the detective that he decided to blame another man for the crash, believing he “deserved punishment” for a prior battery incident involving Carpenter.

A lab report of a blood draw from Josett on the early morning of Jan. 9, 2018, indicated he had marijuana and methamphetamine in his system, according to the complaint.

If convicted, Josett could face maximum punishments of $200,000 in legal fines and up to 50 years in prison.

During the hearing Tuesday, prosecutors requested a $100,000 cash bond, citing prior criminal records of failing to attend a court dates or report to jail in separate cases.

A public defender said that amount was “clearly excessive” and would place a serious financial burden on Josett’s family. The defense said Josett collects regular disability checks and works part-time to pay child support and feed his children. The defense requested a signature bond before Klicko settled on $50,000 cash bond.

Josett is due in Sauk County Circuit Court for a return date of June 5.