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Avoca man accused of killing mom scheduled for trial

Sean Pickett

Sean Pickett during a preliminary hearing Thursday, May 27.

MADISON (WKOW) - An Avoca man accused of killing his mother and dog in Iowa County was in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing and was bound over for trial by a judge after testimony from law enforcement officers.

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Sean Pickett, 21, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and mistreatment of animals.

Investigators say the crimes happened sometime between May 9 and 10 at the home Pickett shared with his mother in Avoca.

Related: "Avoca homicide suspect heard ‘evil voices’ telling him to kill mother, dog"

Avoca police chief Daniel Carey testified Thursday, walking through the moments he arrived at the home and what he saw when he walked inside.

There was a small, lock plate the bedroom," Carey said.

"There was a machete, approximately twenty to twenty four inches long, Carey testified. "It had blood spatter on it."

Carey also says a metal pipe about three feet long was also found in the home.

A forensic pathologist testified Susan Pickett, 54, was killed by being stabbed and being hit with a blunt object several times.

Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Kenneth Folkers says he interrogated Sean Pickett for several hours. He was asked whether Pickett confessed to killing his mother. "Yes he did," Folkers responded.

A criminal complaint against Pickett says he initially blamed his stepfather for the deaths.

The complaint also says Pickett told law enforcement officials he heard evil voices telling him to kill and felt possessed.

Pickett's mental health has been no legal factor in the case so far.

Carey says Pickett did show emotion at the crime scene.

"When I placed him in the squad, he began sobbing," Carey says.

Carey testified he recognized the body he found as Susan Pickett as the result of a number of professional contacts he's had with her. Neighbors maintain there was police contact with the Pickett household in the days before the killings, but Carey has yet to comment on those contacts.

A judge ruled there was probable cause to believe Sean Pickett committed the crimes as she ordered he face trial. Pickett's arraignment is scheduled for June 30.

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