Dennis McNeal, the man suspected of shooting his live-in girlfriend and injuring two others, will be held on $60,000 cash bond at the Rock County Jail.
McNeal made his first Rock County Court appearance Thursday on charges of first-degree reckless injury, possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts of aggravated battery.
Police say McNeal, 57, of 1807 S. Osborne Ave., Janesville, shot his girlfriend, Laurie Ruosch, during an argument Tuesday. He also is said to have seriously injured Laurie’s daughter, Brenda Ruosch, and inflicted minor injuries on Laurie’s brother, Steven Ruosch.
Laurie, 59, was treated for six to 10 gunshot wounds to her legs and had a significant wound to the back of her head, according to the criminal complaint.
Police Chief Dave Moore said at a press conference Wednesday that emergency responders saved Laurie’s life after she suffered a tremendous amount of blood loss.
During the incident, McNeal also hit Steven, 64, multiple times in the head with the butt of a shotgun, according to the complaint.
McNeal then went down the block to a residence at 1738 S. Osborne Ave. and struck Brenda, 42, in the head with a cast-iron candlestick, according to the complaint. She also suffered significant blood loss and could have died without treatment, Moore said.
Police said McNeal appeared to be under the influence of drugs during the incident. Laurie told police he used enough crack cocaine the day before to become “psychotic,” according to the complaint.
A spokeswoman at Mercyhealth Hospital and Trauma Center said Thursday that Steven was in stable condition. Brenda was admitted and later transferred to UW Hospital in Madison.
Laurie was taken to Mercy, but no information could be released about her injury conditions or whether she’s still hospitalized, a hospital spokeswoman said.
At Thursday’s court hearing, Assistant District Attorney Gerald Urbik requested bond be set at $60,000. He also requested McNeal have a no-contact order with the victims and an order that he not possess weapons.
Urbik called the Tuesday incident an “extremely violent offense” and said a high bond was necessary to protect the public.
He rattled off McNeal’s lengthy criminal history, which includes domestic violence arrests and drug offenses.
The defense argued that despite McNeal’s criminal background, he is a longtime Rock County resident and has not missed court since May 2006.
Court Commissioner Stephen Meyer went with Urbik’s recommendation and set the bond at $60,000. He included the no-contact and no-weapon orders.
McNeal’s next court appearance is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 11.