Reckless homicide charge filed in Beloit woman's death - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Reckless homicide charge filed in Beloit woman's death

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BELOIT (WKOW) -- Prosecutors filed a first-degree reckless homicide charge against the man accused of killing his on-again, off-again girlfriend in Beloit.

40-year-old Christopher Rutherford faces that one felony count in Rock County Court. The Beloit Daily News reports his bail has been set at $100,000.

Rutherford is accused of running over Sheila Rosenbaum with a van as he was trying to get away from police on May 11. According to the criminal complaint, Beloit police officers responded to what appeared to be a physical confrontation between Rutherford and Rosenbaum outside a home in the 900 block of Tenth Street. Officers tried to intervene but the complaint says Rutherford got into the driver's seat of the van and turned it on.

The complaint says one officer tried to pull Rutherford from the vehicle as the engine was revving and it was still in park, but eventually the officer let go, fearing for his own safety.

At this point, Rosenbaum was just in front of the van and she was hit when Rutherford put the vehicle into gear and took off. Officers opened fire on the van as it drove away.

Rosenbaum was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Autopsy results show she died of blunt force trauma to the chest.

Rutherford later crashed the van into a tree and took off on foot, where officers later tracked him down. He was then taken to the hospital because he had a single gunshot wound to the middle of his back.

According to the complaint, Rutherford told detectives during an interview that he had smoked crack cocaine earlier in the day and admitted to drinking Jack Daniels. The complaint says lab results confirm he tested positive for the presence of cocaine and opiates.

Officers arrested Rutherford following his release from the hospital on Tuesday.

Rutherford's bond was set at $100,000 during his initial court appearance on Wednesday.

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