Wisc. Student Charged in Triple Homicide
Jul. 07, 2003
MADISON, Wis. (AP) _ A University of Wisconsin freshman who had lost thousands of dollars gambling was arrested and charged with killing three men in their sleep, authorities said Monday.
Meng-Ju Wu, 19, was charged with three counts of first-degree homicide.
The men were found dead of gunshot wounds on June 26 after a woman looked into a window of a duplex in Verona and saw someone lying in a pool of blood. Jason C. McGuigan, 28; Daniel R. Swanson, 25; and Dustin J. Wilson, 17, were killed.
Wu was arrested late Sunday in New York City, Verona Police chief Bernie Coughlin said. Authorities were unsure if Wu was trying to flee the country. Extradition back to Wisconsin was expected to take a couple of weeks.
According to the complaint, Wu told authorities he had McGuigan set up an offshore betting account for him. McGuigan also advised Wu which teams to bet on, and Wu used one tip to win $17,000, the complaint said.
McGuigan allegedly threatened Wu at gunpoint to ``keep his mouth shut'' about the winnings after Wu began celebrating the win in front of others, the complaint said. One witness told police McGuigan later said Wu was going to get what was coming to him.
Wu told authorities he enjoyed gambling but had given it up after losing $15,000 between April and June, the complaint said.
Police also said Wu's car was found in the driveway the day of the shootings. The gun police believe was used to kill the three men has not been found, but its carrying case was discovered amid trash collected near Wu's apartment in Madison, the complaint said.
Police also found a plastic bag in a trash bin near Wu's apartment that contained a pair of sandals with traces of Wilson's blood and a letter with a return address from Wu.
Stephen Hurley, Wu's attorney, did not immediately return a message seeking comment late Monday.
Wu, originally from Taiwan, is a permanent resident alien and was majoring in Chinese, the university said. None of the victims had any ties to the university.
Wilson's family in Iowa said the 17-year-old had told his brothers someone was out to kill him.