Bradley Wischmeier is expected to appear in court on homicide charges later this month.
My problem with this case is that if the prosecutor and the law are violating a property owner’s rights just to get someone they don’t like off the streets.
“A Burlington man was charged Monday in Des Moines County District Court with vehicular homicide involving the death of a woman whose body was found near a burning vehicle last Tuesday evening in a cornfield north of Burlington.
Bradley Wischmeier, 58, 9561 Stony Hollow Road, remains in the Des Moines County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 cash-only bond. He is expected to appear in court on homicide charges May 14. A public defender was appointed to represent him.
The name of the dead woman, who is believed to be in her early 50s, has not been released. The victim’s name was not contained in the criminal complaint filed late Monday afternoon by District Judge John Wright in Des Moines County District Court.
An autopsy was performed on the woman last Wednesday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. However, medical examiners were unable to identify her. Authorities believe they may have to use DNA to positively identify the woman, who suffered extensive burns over her entire body.
Investigators believe they know who the woman is, but are not releasing any information about her until they can positively confirm her identity. Investigators have not said if Wischmeier has told them who was with him at the time of the incident.
If convicted of the class B felony, Wischmeier could face up to 25 years in prison and be ordered to pay $150,000 to the woman’s estate.
Wischmeier, on whose property the incident occurred, was with the woman when the fire broke out shortly after 6:30 p.m. April 17. First responders found Wischmeier laying about 20 yards from the burning vehicle suffering non-life threatening injuries. The woman was found dead less than 10 feet away from the fully engulfed vehicle.
“Upon arrival, officers spoke with Wischmeier who stated he had been driving the vehicle around the field ‘crazily’ until it overheated,” court documents state. “Wischmeier stated several times he was driving the vehicle … Wischmeier was taken to Great River Medical Center for injuries due to the fire. While at GRMC, hospital staff asked him if he was under the influence of anything and he stated: Booze.”
The incident occurred several hundred yards away from Wischmeier’s home, where he lives with his wife, Lisa Wischmeier.
Members of the Des Moines County Sheriff’s Department, along with special agents in the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, met with Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers last week to discuss whether criminal charges should be filed in the case.
Beavers drafted the criminal charges after the meeting.
Wischmeier, a well-known artist in the Burlington area, has a lengthy criminal record, including several OWIs and 11 public intoxication convictions in the past seven years. He also has a conviction for indecent exposure, and has a serious assault case pending in Des Moines County.
The Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the investigation by the Mediapolis Fire Department, Iowa State Patrol, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Burlington Police Department.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office at (319) 753-8212 or CrimeStoppers at (319) 753-6835.
A reward of up to $1,000 is being offered for information about the woman’s death.”
Although it hasn’t been announced yet, the dead woman is Brad’s wife, Lisa. She was a lovely woman, wife and mother. She and Brad were very much in love and enjoyed each other’s company.
Apparently, Brad and Lisa had just put a new battery in an old car that they owned which had been sitting in their field for years. They got it started and drove it around in their own field. They were NOT on public roads or on public property.
Lisa wasn’t Brad’s captive. There is no evidence to suggest he made her go with him around the field. She was just out with her husband having some fun on their own personal property. The tragedy of her accidental death is only compounded by the charges against Brad.
If they were on a lawn mower or tractor would it be the same charge? Vehicular Homicide? 25 years? Seriously?
Even if you don’t like the person being charged, this is a dangerous precedence that could be enforced against any of us.
Any law that violates the right to enjoy your personal property is bad law. Brad just lost his wife. He is suffering enough.
That is my opinion for what it’s worth. I would like to hear yours.