Cash bond set at $100k for man allegedly involved in deadly fight at La Crosse Menards

Matthew Kintsler

Matthew Kinstler, 50. Courtesy of the La Crosse County Jail.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)– A La Crosse County man accused of causing another man to die after an altercation at the La Crosse Menards is being held on a $100,000 dollar bond.

Matthew Kinstler, 50, appeared virtually in court Wednesday for the hearing. He is being held at the county jail for 1st-degree reckless homicide.

According to the La Crosse Police Department, on May 1 at 2:19 pm., authorities responded to a fight at Menards.

An initial investigation found Kinstler was apparently upset with Russell W. Paulson, 79. Kinstler allegedly felt Paulson had parked too closely to the vehicle he was driving. A verbal argument occurred, which escalated to a physical altercation.

At the time of the incident, Kinstler was initially arrested and referred on charges of substantial battery and disorderly conduct. According to police, he was released on a signature bond because Paulson initially survived the incident.

However, after Paulson was transported to Mayo Clinic Health System for treatment, he died of his injuries.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the District Attorney’s office alluded to Kinstler potentially being involved with a threat to shoot another group.

“Just yesterday there were threats to a group– that was shooting up their meeting. And he previously had incidents with that group before,” said Assistant District Attorney Susan C Donskey, during the hearing.

Donskey later said authorities arrested Kinstler Tuesday night after they learned of the threats to that group. She said the group, which was not identified, was supposed to meet Wednesday morning.

The District Attorney’s office initially asked for a one million dollar cash bond. However, Kinstler’s attorney, Zachariah Fudge, cited his client’s military history, college degree, family’s connection to the area and other factors to lower the bond to $2,500.

Judge Elliott M Levine set a $100,000 cash bond. If he is released, he is not allowed to have any contact with the victim’s family, would be under house arrest and undergo GPS monitoring.

Kinstler did not make any statements during the hearing.

The next hearing is scheduled for Monday at 1:30 p.m. This will allow the District Attorney’s office time to finish the criminal complaint. Donskey said authorities were still conducting witness interviews and the investigation.