Judge ups bail for former Wisconsin deputy

Court documents: Andrew Steele left note planning homicides

Court documents filed this week claim former Dane County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Steele planned the homicides of his wife and sister-in-law for “a number of days” and left a note on his phone detailing his plan.

Steele pleaded not guilty to two first-degree homicide charges in court Thursday.

The Dane County District Attorney’s Office filed a motion Wednesday asking for Steele’s bond to be increased from $1 million to $5 million in the Aug. 22 homicides of his wife Ashlee Steele and sister-in-law Kacee Tollefsbol. Judge Nicholas McNamara agreed Thursday to increase bail to $2 million and not reverse the order for Steele not to contact his children until the guardians can testify to the children’s condition.

In a document filed with the court Wednesday, Asst. DA Andrea Raymond said evidence collected by the state shows Steele “was insistent” that Kacee Tollefsbol visit the Steele family in Fitchburg alone, “leaving her newlywed husband and children in Minnesota.” Raymond says Steele signed his will and his wife’s will within 36 hours of the homicides, and in communications with his parents “contemplates his wife being absent in the future.”

The DA’s office claims Steele left a note on his phone detailing his plan, “including contemplating different methods of homicide,” in an effort that Raymond called “meticulous.”

Raymond also claims that Steele is still receiving benefits as a member of the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, saying that he is “not as yet retired” from the DCSO. Sheriff’s officials had previously said Steele retired from the office in June. Sheriff’s officials said Thursday Steele retired June 4 and is currently using accrued time off.

Prosecutors are also concerned about Steele’s access to cash, and said that his current $1 million bail “unduly depreciates the nature of the crimes, suffering of the victims and the extreme motivation for the defendant to flee.”

A search warrant allegedly turned up a Roth IRA worth $150,000-$175,000 and the DA’s office believes he may also have access to his home as a potential for bail money, which is worth $336,600.

Prosecutors also said Steele is a danger to his family and community, and that his ALS diagnosis and background in law enforcement makes him more of a flight risk.

A document filed by Steele’s attorney Tuesday requested the lowering of Steele’s bond to $50,000-$100,000, claiming he does not have access to substantial funds and has strong ties to the community.