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‘Incredibly violent event:’ Man pleads no contest in fatal shooting of Bradlee Gerke last October

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Nigel Schultz

JUNEAU -- A Fond du Lac man admitted to a brutal murder months after a Beaver Dam man's remains turned up in a shallow grave. Nigel Schultz, 21, told Dodge County detectives several times that he killed Bradlee Gerke and told others in jail calls.

On Friday, Aug. 16 Schultz pleaded no contest to a charge of first degree intentional homicide in connection to the fatal shooting.

"This was an incredibly violent event, shocking to the public and it's unsettling," said Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg.

It's an unsettling story to Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg, that happened on Halloween night, 2018.

"The defendant made the decision he was going to kill Mr. Gerke. He lured him out to this farm and told him they were going to go practice shooting," Klomberg said.

Prosecutors say Schultz fired 16 shots at Gerke -- a man he knew.

Town of Lebanon death investigation, Dodge County

"He attempted to cover up the crime by first trying to put the remains in a burn barrel, that didn't work. Then he dug a grave and buried him," Klomberg said.

Schultz told police multiple stories about a gun and that the victim had a plan to turn the defendant in regarding a separate case.

"Those are the two most likely reasons but we've been given a number of other reasons that don't really add up. The real reason only the defendant know," said Klomberg.

Schultz admitted to killing Gerke at the Dodge County property. At 21 years old, he already had 11 felony convictions.

"This is an individual that presents an incredible danger to the public," Klomberg said. "This future does not look good for this individual if he's left in the community and the community needs protection from him."

Schultz is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 7, 2020. Schultz’s conviction requires a mandatory life sentence. However, a judge can authorize a release date any time after 20 years. Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg indicated he is recommending Schultz never be released from prison.

Town of Lebanon death investigation, Dodge County

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