Rhinelander-area man accused of attempted murder bound over for trial
Steven Fletcher remains held on $30,000 bond
BY KEVIN BONESKE
A 46-year-old Rhinelander-area man accused of trying to shoot his ex-girlfriend’s son at an apartment complex in the town of Pelican shortly before midnight March 11 has been bound over for trial in Oneida County Circuit Court.
Steven J. Fletcher, who remains in custody on a $30,000 cash bond, appeared Thursday for a preliminary hearing before Judge Michael H. Bloom, who found probable cause Fletcher committed the felony offenses for which he is accused. Fletcher is scheduled back in court April 10 for an arraignment.
Fletcher faces felony charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and armed burglary as well as misdemeanor counts of possessing a firearm while intoxicated and disorderly conduct. Upon conviction, the attempted murder charge alone carries a maximum possible penalty of 40 years of initial confinement in prison, followed by 20 years of extended supervision.
Assistant district attorney Jillian Pfeifer called two witnesses to testify, sheriff’s department sergeant Brad Fogerty and detective sergeant Robert Hebein.
Fogerty testified about having contacted the ex-girlfriend’s son, who informed him about sleeping in the apartment when Fletcher went inside, allegedly stating, “You’re dead,” and firing a shot with a pistol the ex-girlfriend’s son was then able to wrestle away from Fletcher and take to an adjacent apartment.
Upon Fogerty entering the apartment, he testified that he discovered a bullet casing, a bullet and a coffee table with a bullet hole.
Hebein testified about interviewing the ex-girlfriend, who had also been in the apartment when Fletcher allegedly entered and fired a shot. He stated the ex-girlfriend informed him about seeing her son wrestle the gun away from Fletcher, who allegedly stated to her, “Your son is dead,” before leaving the apartment.
When interviewing Fletcher, Hebein said Fletcher admitted being in a local tavern that evening before going home and retrieving a firearm, then driving to the Cranes Road apartment complex where his ex-girlfriend lived and discharging the gun inside his truck, which Hebein noted had a hole in a passenger’s side window.
Fletcher’s attorney, Brian F. Bennett, sought to dismiss the attempted murder charge by arguing the prosecution didn’t present evidence his client intended to kill the ex-girlfriend’s son.
However, Bloom said evidence related to statements Fletcher is accused of making, such as “You’re dead” and “Your son is dead,” had been sufficient to find probable cause.
Bennett also sought a reduction in the cash bond, which Pfeifer opposed lowering because of the gravity of the alleged offense, and Bloom agreed to keep the bail at $30,000.