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Murder suspect still in hospital

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AMES, ANN MARIE
February 13, 2013

Eileen Bellard was putting the family dog into their van the morning of Feb. 6 when she heard a gunshot from the barn.

She and her 75-year-old husband, Daniel, had been planning a trip to the dog park that morning.

At about 8:30 a.m., he was in the barn with their neighbor Christine Gestrich, who had driven down in a skid loader to clear snow from the driveway.

Gestrich often came over to help them out, Eileen later told a detective, according to a search warrant filed in Rock County Court.

At the sound of the gunshot, she walked into the barn to find her husband holding a long-barreled gun and bleeding from the top of his head. She saw what she thought were Gestrich's feet on the floor, according to the search warrant.

Eileen called out Gestrich's name and heard her whimper in response. She took the gun from her husband and told him she was going to call 911, according to the search warrant.

Eileen went across the road to the garage and made the call. While she was on the phone, she saw her husband go in to the house. He came out holding another long-barreled firearm and knelt in front of the house, according to the search warrant.

That's when an emergency vehicle arrived. Eileen was directed inside, and the vehicle drove her away.

Police later found Gestrich, 59, dead in the barn.

After two hours of securing the property on West Stuart Road in the town of Plymouth, police found Daniel Bellard in a shed near the house with a severe head wound.

Investigators seized three guns, several boxes of ammunition, loose slugs and shells and other hunting items from the property, according to the search warrant.

The search warrant provides no hint about a motive for the shooting.

Bellard remained in custody in stable condition Tuesday at University Hospital, Madison, Sheriff Robert Spoden said. Investigators on Monday arrested him on one count of first-degree intentional homicide.

County officials are waiting for medical clearance from the hospital before setting a court appearance for Bellard, District Attorney David O'Leary wrote in an email to The Gazette.



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