Janesville47.5°

Son suspect in possible homicide

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Mike Heine
February 29, 2008
— Prosecutors are considering reckless homicide charges against a Lake Geneva man accused of beating his father to death, District Attorney Phil Koss said.

David J. Newer died Thursday afternoon from injuries authorities believe were inflicted by his son, Jacob Newer, 26, of N2020 County H, Lake Geneva, during a fight the two had at a motel outside Pell Lake.


Jacob fractured the skull of his father and left him without medical attention for 14 hours Tuesday, Koss said.


David, 57, died at 12:40 p.m. Thursday at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Milwaukee. An autopsy will be conducted Saturday, Koss said.


Koss said he has not read investigative reports and had not made a decision on charges. He said the case did not look like an intentional homicide at this time but might be reckless homicide.


Charges are due Thursday, Jacob’s next court appearance.


Jacob fought with his father early Tuesday morning at the Inn-B-Tween Motel, Koss said.


Authorities are unsure of the reason for the scuffle. Jacob was scratched and bruised when he was booked into jail early Wednesday morning, police said.


Jacob waited 14 hours before he and an uncle took David to Aurora Lakeland Medical Center at about 8 p.m. Tuesday, Koss said.


Police believe the fight occurred between 3 and 4 a.m. Tuesday.


“The next morning, David Newer was not moving,” Koss said at Jacob’s bail hearing Thursday. “Once his hand started to turn blue 14 hours later (they) decided, ‘We better take him to the hospital.’”


Court officials had not gotten word that David had already died when Judge Michael Gibbs at about 1 p.m. Thursday ordered Jacob held on $25,000 bond.


David and Jacob were visiting David’s brother Frank Newer at the motel, where Frank lived, according to police. Frank heard a scuffle in the morning and assumed it was his brother and nephew. David had been at a tavern and was intoxicated, Frank told police.


“Eventually, the defendant admitted that he recalls being in a scuffle with his father at the residence in Pell Lake,” Koss said.


Police do not believe any weapons were used during the fight.


Frank Newer is not suspected of being involved in the altercation, Koss said, but he was arrested on suspicion of bail jumping stemming from alleged probation violations.


The last man arrested for murder in Walworth County was Craig A. Swope, who was convicted of killing his parents in January 2004.


Town of Delavan police found the decomposing bodies of Duane and Carolee Recob four years ago today inside their ranch-style home on Highway 11 between Delavan and Elkhorn.



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