Schultz enters pleas of not guilty

March 29, 2019

JUNEAU -- A 21-year-old Nigel Schultz, who was wearing a bright orange jail smock and khaki pants, sat quietly and barely nodded when his attorneys spoke to him at his arraignment Wednesday morning in Dodge County Circuit Court.

Schultz, who is being held in the Dodge County Detention Facility on a $5 million cash bail, faces life in prison for first degree intentional homicide for allegedly killing Bradlee Gerke, 36 of Beaver Dam in October 2018. He also faces felony charges of hiding a corpse, theft from a person or corpse and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Schultz entered a not guilty plea to the charges and is expected back in court May 13 for a telephone scheduling conference.

On April 5, Rebecca Wolc, who allegedly tried to hide Schultz in her Beaver Dam apartment, is also expected back in Dodge County Circuit Court for a telephone scheduling conference. Wolc, who recently moved to Mayville, was charged with harboring or aiding a felon in connection with the murder of Gerke.

According to the criminal complaints against Schultz and Wolc, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office received a call Oct. 31, 2018, from a resident notifying them there was a body at N901 Redwing Road in the town of Lebanon.

Investigators discovered the body and later arrested Wolc and Schultz and charged them in connection with Gerke’s death.

The location of the body was reported by two people only identified by their initials in the criminal complaint. One of them told police that Schultz said he shot someone breaking into the house on Oct. 28, 2018, and that the witness should not tell anyone.

That witness had seen the body and both witnesses helped police responding on Oct. 31 locate the area where Gerke’s body was found.

The other witness told authorities that Schultz had said he “ran someone out of the house” and the witness had met with Schultz to discuss the incident at a gas station in Ashippun. The witness told police the license plate of the van Schultz was in and they discovered it was registered to Wolc, according to the criminal complaint.

Authorities responded to Wolc’s apartment on Lakecrest Drive in Beaver Dam. Wolc initially denied Schultz was in the apartment, but he eventually came out of the apartment and surrendered, the complaint states.

Wolc denied knowing Gerke had been shot before admitting she had seen Gerke’s body after he was shot and she and Schultz told Gerke’s mother he had gone to La Crosse with a woman, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, Schultz told police that before Oct. 28 he thought Gerke was going to report him to law enforcement so his probation would be revoked. Schultz originally told police that the property owner who reported the dead body had shot Gerke first but later admitted he was the individual who shot Gerke, the complaint states. He said he shot Gerke in the back of the head with a .38 Derringer gun and multiple times with a .22 caliber rifle. The autopsy revealed there were 10 gunshot wounds to the head and six gunshot wounds to the chest.

Schultz told police he buried the body on the property and poured gasoline over the shallow grave, lit it and burned the grass after trying to put Gerke’s body into a burn barrel, the complaint states.