PRAIRIE DU CHIEN
A former Janesville man was shot in the head in an Oct. 25 incident in Crawford County, and a Roscoe, Illinois, man was charged with attempted murder Monday in Crawford County Court.
The criminal complaint filed Monday said Jason Melvin, 48, of New Glarus, was in critical but stable condition at a Madison hospital.
Melvin’s mother, Paulette Melvin, said her son, a 1990 graduate of Craig High School and a UW-Madison graduate, has been responding to requests to hold up fingers, shake his foot and move his tongue.
Lee J. Kennedy, 47, of Roscoe, Illinois, was charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide.
Kennedy was held on a $50,000 cash bond, but he posted bond and was released Oct. 29, online court records show.
The criminal complaint does not suggest a motive.
“It’s kind of a mystery to us, too, what happened there,” the victim’s mother said.
The criminal complaint says Melvin met Kennedy in a bar in the tiny village of Eastman the night of Oct. 24 and drove Kennedy to the nearby RV he was staying at because Kennedy, who was celebrating his birthday, was drunk.
A woman who also met Kennedy at the bar drove his car. The three spent 30 minutes in the RV before Melvin and the woman, Jennifer Glass of Soldiers Grove, left, according to the complaint.
Deputies were called at 1:30 a.m. Oct. 25. When they arrived, they found Glass covered with blood and “somewhat hysterical,” and she said, “He’s going to die, get somebody!” according to the complaint.
Glass told deputies they stayed at Kennedy’s RV for about 30 minutes and continued to celebrate his birthday, according to the complaint.
Glass and Melvin then left. As Melvin drove down the driveway, Glass said she heard a gunshot, the truck’s rear window shattered, Melvin’s head dropped and he stopped moving, according to the complaint.
Glass said she grabbed the wheel and drove into a nearby field, where the truck stopped and deputies found them.
Deputies reported finding a handgun that was cocked and ready to fire and three spent cartridges on the ground.
One of two people staying in a cabin next to the RV, Dale Wittlieff, told deputies he heard three shots at about 1:25 a.m., according to the complaint.
Melvin’s wife, Susie Melvin, established a GoFundMe fundraiser for herself and her three children on Sunday, saying their sole source of income was Jason’s landscaping/snow removal business.
In the post, Susie Melvin wrote that her husband suffered a severe brain injury in the shooting.
“His doctors have told us that he will remain hospitalized for weeks to months, as brain injuries are very unpredictable,” she wrote. “Additionally, it is likely that he will need rehabilitation at another facility …”
As of Tuesday evening, $9,060 had been raised toward a $40,000 goal.
A preliminary hearing in the criminal case is set for Jan. 9.