Lantern Project: Since October 2013, Hope House has joined with other domestic violence programs around the state by implementing the Lantern Project. For our part in this statewide project, we added to the lamppost in front of Hope House a purple wreath. We will turn on the light for a week every time there is a death related to domestic violence in Wisconsin. We will post information online about the person(s) that was killed. If you drive by our building and see our lamppost on, please reflect on the deadly impact that domestic violence has on our communities. We know the list of stories we post here is incomplete. We strive to learn about and share these stories but know that there are some that we and the media miss. If you see a news story of a death in WI related to domestic violence and don't see it posted here, please feel free to let us know about it here. Thank you.
May 3rd, 2019: Jose L. Rodriguez-Castro, Age 22- Milwaukee
The father of a woman’s child fatally shot the woman’s new suitor after pulling up to the two at a traffic light on Milwaukee’s south side, according to a criminal complaint.
Police recovered 21 spent 9mm casings from the intersection of South 27th Street and West Forest Home Avenue, where Victor M. Cintron, 23, allegedly shot Jose L. Rodriguez-Castro, 22, shortly before 3 p.m. Friday.
Cintron is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, according to the complaint issued Tuesday.
Rodriguez-Castro was stuck eight times as he attempted to shield the woman from the gunfire, which struck three other occupied vehicles nearby, according to the complaint.
Cintron, a concealed carry permit holder, ignored demands to turn his firearms over to authorities after the woman filed a restraining order against him on April 10, according to state court records.
RELATED: One dead in officer-involved shooting, as Milwaukee police look for homicide suspect Victor Cintron
An arrest warrant was issued for him the next day when he was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery and disorderly conduct on suspicion of beating the woman and threatening to kill her, according to the records and the criminal complaint.
He remained at large Tuesday and anyone who knows of his whereabouts is asked to call Milwaukee police at (414) 935-7360.
Our Lantern Will be Lit from 5/1/19-5/7/19 for Dennis & Letha ages 74 & 73, MS age 4, HP age 3 months, Daniel Gilmartin age 43, AW age 6 months
April 14th, 2019: Dennis and Letha Kraus, Ages 74 & 73- Grand Chute
Two charges of first-degree intentional homicide have been filed against a Neenah teen accused of killing his grandparents.
A $2 million cash bond was set in Outagamie County court Tuesday for 17-year-old Alexander Kraus.
Each charge carries a life sentence. Kraus was arrested Sunday after his grandparents Dennis and Letha Kraus were found dead in their Grand Chute home.
According to the criminal complaint, Kraus called police Sunday to tell them he shot his grandparents.
He said he was staying overnight at their house.
“The information that is contained in the criminal complaint outlines his admission that he had shot and killed both of them. It was consistent with evidence that was located within the residence and also confirmed with autopsy findings by Dr. Kelly,” said Outagamie County District Attorney Melinda Tempelis.
Inside the home, officers say they found several firearms, ammunition and spent shell casings, including a shotgun with a knife taped to the end of the barrel and a knife sheath on the bed.
They also found a backpack with a folder inside, containing several pages of Kraus’ plans to kill his grandparents. A book about an executioner was also inside the backpack, the complaint reads.
When talking with police, Kraus said he was wearing a black leather jacket when he shot both his grandfather and grandmother in the heads with a 20-gauge pump-action shotgun with slugs.
The criminal complaint does not say why Kraus killed them.
Neenah High School has also said Kraus had a “plan to cause harm” at the school, but authorities have not released any details on that plan.
April 19th, 2019: MS, age 4, and HP, age 3 months – Seymour
Two girls found dead in a Seymour home suffered wounds consistent with a stabbing, according to documents obtained by Action 2 News.
MS age 4, and HP, age 3 months, were found dead in a home at 603 N. Main St. April 19.
Thirty-five-year-old Andrew R. Poppe was also found dead in the home.
Police had responded to the home to execute a search warrant based on a domestic violence incident that had taken place on April 18.
The warrant reveals new information about the timeline and cause of death.
On April 19, at 6:59 a.m., Seymour Police attempted to make contact with Andrew Poppe by telephone, but he did not answer.
At 8:06 a.m., SWAT officers forced entry into the home and found three people dead in an upstairs room. An affidavit states that the two girls and Poppe “showed no signs of life and each had wounds consistent with that of a stabbing.”
Search warrants revealed that police were called to the home the day before. The victim of the domestic violence incident said Andrew Poppe had threatened to kill her and her children if she called police.
The affidavit states that Poppe had a history of domestic violence. Police records show an arrest in June 2015 for battery/domestic violence.
Police also executed a search warrant after the deaths and seized a cell phone, electronic devices, clothing and documents.
The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the investigation into the deaths. They’ve released few details.
MS and HP were laid to rest on April 25. Donations are being collected through the Muehl-Boettcher Funeral Home website. CLICK HERE for information on making a donation to the family.
April 20th, 2019: Daniel Gilmartin, Ages 43 – Montello
The suspect in a fire in Montello April 20 that killed a man is expected to appear Monday in Marquette County Circuit Court.
Frances E. Rittman, 42, of Montello, was arrested in the case, according to the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office.
Daniel R. Gilmartin, 43, died in the fire, according to the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office.
Dispatchers at 911 received a call about 2:15 p.m. Saturday reporting a house fire on Cass Street.
The Montello Fire Department responded and found the home engulfed in flames when they arrived. A body was found inside the house, according to a news release from the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office.
The flames were so hot that siding on the surrounding houses started to melt.
“All of the sudden the glass started breaking and we all ran up the hill,” said neighbor Mike Vielbaum, who witnessed the fire.
“Then it just blew,” said Diane Vielbaum. “It just went up. Big flames. I’m sure the person that’s in there — I’m hoping that the smoke got him before the fire did. Because it was a sad time.”
Their son, Jeremy Vielbaum, knew both Gilmartin and Rittman, who he says were at one time engaged. Court records show Rittman was evicted, and Jeremy says he helped her move out.
“She asked if I’d help her, and I did,” he said. “She was always asking me questions about how he’s doing and everything, how she wants to get back together with him and he doesn’t want to work it out… I just knew they had a lot of problems and stuff. He was a good guy.”
The fire and death are under investigation by the Marquette County Sheriff’s Office, Marquette County Coroner, State of Wisconsin Department of Justice Fire Marshalls and Montello Fire Department.
Oxford Fire Department along with the Princeton Fire Department assisted under mutual aid. Marquette County EMS and the sheriff’s office also responded.
April 25th, 2019: AW, Ages 6 months – Milwaukee
A man with a history of domestic abuse and violence who until Friday was sought for an abuse case from December is charged in the brutal killing of a 6-month-old boy.
Devante Marquise Randall, 26, was arrested Friday after being charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of the infant, identified in a criminal complaint by the initials AW.
The boy was pronounced dead Thursday from massive brain injuries at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, according to a criminal complaint.
Randall is also charged with physical abuse of a child causing bodily harm for multiple injuries to AW’s 2-year-old brother, and two counts of child neglect for not seeking medical treatment for the brothers, according to the complaint.
Randall has a history of domestic abuse and domestic violence involving separate victims, and drug offenses, going back to 2012, according to state court records.
According to the criminal complaint in the latest case, AW’s mother told police she left the boys with Randall after he dropped her off at work at 11 a.m. Monday.
About 6 p.m. Randall showed up at her workplace with AW in his car. At that time the infant had no pulse and was not breathing.
While driving them to the hospital, Randall claimed he was holding the boys while running to escape gunfire near North 40th Street and West Hampton Avenue when he fell.
After dropping off the mother and AW at the hospital, Randall drove to their home in Franklin, where he dropped off the 2-year-old with the mother’s father.
AW suffered a fractured skull and other injuries from “a massive acceleration/deceleration event with a rotational component, with or without impact,” according to the complaint.
“This type of force can be seen when a child is violently shaken, slammed, and/or thrown,” the complaint said.
The 2-year-old boy was transported to Children’s Hospital from the Franklin apartment with multiple injuries all over his body, according to the complaint.
In the December incident, Randall is charged with physical abuse of a child causing bodily harm and criminal damage to property/domestic abuse, according to a criminal complaint filed in that case.
He is accused of forcing his way into the home of a former girlfriend after she refused to let him stay there. He then struck and bit the woman’s 16-year-old son and “threw bricks into the windows,” according to the complaint.
In August 2017, Randall was charged with substantial battery/bodily harm and domestic abuse for two incidents, one in which he allegedly beat a woman, the other in which he allegedly beat the woman and burned her face with a cigar, according to a another criminal complaint.
Charges in that case were dismissed when the “state’s essential witness failed to appear,” according to state court records.
He was arrested Friday after his photo was released and shared on social media, police said.