UPDATE: Former deputy will go to trial in Fitchburg double-murde - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Former deputy will go to trial in Fitchburg double-murder case

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Andrew Steele Andrew Steele
Ashlee Steele, Kacee Tollefsbol Ashlee Steele, Kacee Tollefsbol

MADISON (WKOW) -- A former Dane County deputy accused of murdering his wife and her sister will go to trial on two counts of homicide.

Andy Steele, 39, appeared in person in Dane County court for the first time Thursday morning for a preliminary hearing. Only one person took the stand to provide testimony. A detective described arriving on scene at the Steeles' home in Fitchburg on Friday, August 22.

"At that time we heard a female say, 'I'm dying' several times," says Det. Matthew Wiza with Fitchburg police. "She had blood covering most of her body and she appeared to have a gunshot wound to her torso."

Wiza told the courtroom that woman was identified later as Steele's sister-in-law, Kacee Tollefsbol, 38. Tollefsbol was conscious and alert at first and told Wiza her brother-in-law shot her. She was taken to a hospital where she later died.

A criminal complaint released last week also shows Ashlee Steele was found shot to death in the bedroom with a zip tie around her neck. Andy Steele was lying on the floor of the laundry room, where the dryer exhaust and a charcoal grill were running. He came to and tried to evade officers. He was taken to the hospital with smoke inhalation injuries and then taken into custody in Rock County.

Judge Steven Ebert told the attorneys there was enough evidence presented to move forward with a trial in this case.

"I find that those facts stated in the testimony, combined with reasonable inferences, would conclude, any reasonable person would conclude, that a crime was probably committed and the defendant probably committed it," says Ebert.

After the hearing, Steele's attorney said she's still working to determine whether the allegations are accurate, and if they are, whether there is a medical or psychological factor to be considered.

Steele was diagnosed with ALS in June, which forced him to quit his job at Dane County Sheriff's Office, where he worked in the jail.

"I think that this is a tragic set of circumstances and certainly no one would be in their best state of mind, however, I think he's doing OK," says defense attorney Jessa Nicholson.

Nicholson says she plans to file a motion for a judge to reconsider bail conditions, which set bond at $1 million and restricts Steele's contact with his children.


MADISON (WKOW) -- The case against former Dane Co. Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Steele has been bound over for trial. The judge made the determination at the conclusion of Thursday's preliminary hearing.

The only person who testified was the Fitchburg detective who found shooting victim Kacee Tollefsbol shot at the Steele home. Tollefsbol died from her injuries. Her sister and Andrew Steele's wife, Ashlee, was also shot and died at the scene. 

Steele is charged in both of their deaths.

27 News reporter Jennifer Kliese covered today's hearing and will detail the detective's testimony tonight in 27 News at 5 and 6.


MADISON (AP) -- A former southern Wisconsin sheriff's deputy accused of killing his wife and sister-in-law is due back in court.

Andrew Steele is scheduled to appear in Dane County Circuit Court on Thursday morning for a preliminary hearing. That's the step in the legal process where a judge decides whether there's enough evidence to order a trial.

Prosecutors charged Steele last week with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide in connection with the deaths of his wife, Ashlee Steele, and sister-in-law, Kacee Tollefsbol. Police found both women shot in the Steeles' home in Fitchburg, a Madison suburb, on August 22.

Steele resigned from the Dane County Sheriff's Department in June after he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.

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