JUNEAU — A former Ixonia woman was sentenced in Dodge County Circuit Court Thursday to two years on probation and 10 months in jail for harboring/aiding a felon in connection with a murder.
According to the criminal complaint, on Oct. 28, 2018, Nigel Schultz called Dakota Schlesner and instructed her to come to her parent’s residence, not providing any more detail. Upon arrival at the house in rural Ashippun, Schultz showed Schlesner a man’s dead body.
When Schlesner, who reportedly had known Schultz since middle school and been in a romantic relationship with him for about a month, arrived, Schultz called for her from the back of the house and told her to walk to the “shooting range area.” There, she saw Schultz’s other girlfriend, Rebecca Wolc, and the body of man lying on the ground, as well as a black .22-caliber rifle in “a hay chopper,” according to the complaint.
He led her to believe he had come to the home to get work clothes and when he was walking toward the house, a man he did not know — later identified as Bradlee Gerke, 36, of Beaver Dam — came out of the house and “knocked shoulders” with him. He said Gerke had been “in or gone through the house,” and when Gerke ran, he shot him.
Once Schlesner had seen the body, she said. Schultz told her: “Now you know what I can do so don’t tell anybody.” She also told authorities she had seen neither Schultz or Wolc — who she did not know was in relationship with Schultz — holding the gun and neither had pointed a gun at her or threatened her with one, she said.
Schultz admitted to Schlesner that he had killed Gerke. After showing Schlesner Gerke’s remains, Schultz told Schlesner, “Now you know what I can do, so don’t tell anybody.” Schultz then had Schlesner help move and bury Gerke. She told deputies she aided Schultz because she feared if she did not, Schultz would do the same to her, the complaint stated.
Days later, Schlesner received text messages from Schultz instructing her to manipulate the grave where Gerke’s body was buried and Schlesner complied. Schlesner did not report the murder to police until her father discovered the grave and called police. Following Schultz’s apprehension, he told his mother during a recorded jail call that Schlesner and her family were going to die for reporting the crime.
“Nigel Schultz is the most malevolent and dangerous individual I can recall encountering in my career. He manipulated his way into the Schlesner family and used their property to commit a brutal murder. He then coerced Dakota Schlesner into helping him cover up the crime,” said Kurt Klomberg, Dodge County district attorney.
“Dakota is not responsible for the homicide, but in the days after the hiding of the body, she engaged in some acts that assisted Schultz,” he added. “While I can appreciate that she was scared and confronted with a situation that would terrify any person, she owed a duty to the victim, the victim’s family and society. She did not do as the law requires. For that, she is being held accountable.”
Dodge County Circuit Court Judge Brian Pfitzinger sentenced Schlesner to 10 months in jail and two years’ probation.