Suspect admits shooting neighbor over land dispute: Court documents

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Gazette staff
Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Daniel Bellard admitted he killed his neighbor because he feared she would “take our land,” according to court documents filed today.

Bellard is scheduled to appear in Rock County Court this afternoon on a charge of first-degree intentional homicide in the Feb. 6 death of 59-year-old Christine Gestrich.

Bellard, 75, told investigators he believed Gestrich was going to take his land through adverse possession after they had a dispute over the property in rural Orfordville, according to the criminal complaint.

Bellard is accused of taking a .22 rifle and a shotgun into his barn and shooting Gestrich when she arrived to pick up some antiques that morning, according to the criminal complaint.

Bellard told investigators he recalled trying to shoot himself with a shotgun after he shot Gestrich. Bellard was released Monday from a Madison hospital where he had been recovering since the February shooting and booked into the Rock County Jail.

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