Preliminary examinations for murder suspects set for next week
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Court hearings for two men accused of beating a Frederic man to death just before the Fourth of July will take place after a report was approved for one suspect who was deemed competent to stand trial.
Dylan Ross Ziegler, 18, of Romulus, and Matthew Franklin Smith, 36, of Canton, were both arraigned for open murder in Crawford County District Court on Wednesday, July 11.
The men are accused of killing Dennis Everson, 64, from Frederic, who was reported missing by family members on Friday, July 6. The family told Crawford County Sheriff’s Deputies that Everson had not been heard from since Monday, July 2.
It was determined that Everson had been bludgeoned to death several days prior to his body being discovered.
All three man collected scrap metal to sell to make an income. Metal was scrapped at Everson’s home, and metal was stored in the remote location where his body was found.
On Tuesday, Oct. 2, Chief Crawford County Probate and District Court Judge Monte J. Burmeister approved a report that Ziegler was competent to stand trial and understood the criminal responsibility of the charge he faces.
Crawford County Prosecuting Attorney Sierra R. Koch and Attorney Michael B. Brown, who was appointed to represent Ziegler, stipulated for the approval of the report.
Preliminary examinations, where prosecutors must present sufficient evidence for the two men to face a jury trial, will be held starting at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18.
Both men were denied bond due to the seriousness of the offense and the violent nature of the crime.
Smith and Ziegler face up to life in prison, if convicted.