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Woman convicted of aiding a felon after murder of Bradlee Gerke in Dodge County

Dakota Schlesner

DODGE COUNTY — Dakota Schlesner, 21, was found guilty of harboring/aiding a felon in a Dodge County court on Thursday, Oct. 24. This, after a Beaver Dam man’s remains turned up in a shallow grave on Halloween 2018.

Schlesner faces up to 1.5 years in prison followed by up to 2 years of supervision.  A sentencing hearing has been set for January 9, 2020.

On Oct. 28, 2018, Nigel Schultz contacted Dakota Schlesner and instructed her to come to her parent’s residence, not providing any more detail, according to the Dodge County District Attorney’s Office.

Nigel Schultz

Upon arrival at the house in rural Ashippun, Schultz allegedly showed Schlesner the body of Bradlee Gerke.  Schultz admitted to Schlesner that he killed Gerke.  After showing Schlesner Gerke’s remains, Schultz told Schlesner, “Now you know what I can do, so don’t tell anybody.”

According to Dodge County officials, Schultz then allegedly had Schlesner help move and bury Gerke.  She told deputies she aided Schultz because she feared if she did not, Schultz would do the same to her.

Days later, Schlesner received text messages from Schultz instructing her to manipulate the grave where Gerke’s body was buried and Schlesner complied.  Schlesner did not report the murder to authorities until her father discovered the grave and called police.  Days after Schultz’s apprehension, Schultz told his mother during a recorded jail call that Schlesner and her family were going to die for reporting the crime.

Town of Lebanon death investigation, Dodge County

District Attorney Kurt F. Klomberg said, “Nigel Schultz is quite possibly the single most malevolent and frightening individual I have encountered in my career.  He committed this murder and conducted himself afterward in a casual fashion as if this was just a regular day in his life.  I believe that Schlesner was terrified for her safety and for the safety of her family.  She was also willing to assist the State at the trial against Schultz.  Nevertheless, after Schultz left the property, Schlesner had a duty to summon authorities, and did not.  For that, she has to be held accountable.”

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