UPDATE: Judge Rules Man Not Competent to Stand Rock County Murder Trial

By: Shannon Smith Email
By: Shannon Smith Email

UPDATE: ROCK COUNTY (WIFR) – The Rock County man who shot and killed his neighbor over a land dispute in rural Orfordville won’t stand trial. A judge ruled that 75-year-old Daniel Bellard isn’t mentally competent. Bellard admitted he killed 59-year-old Christine Getrich back in February because he feared she would take his land.


UPDATE: Rock County Sheriff’s Detectives have continued to investigate the February 6, 2013, Plymouth Township, West Stuart Road, shooting death of Christine Gestrich. As a result of this thorough investigation, based upon physical evidence gathered at the scene; witness statements; and investigative interviews; the Rock County Sheriff’s Office today has arrested Daniel Bellard, age 75, of West Stuart Road, on a charge of First Degree Intentional Homicide in the death of Christine M. Gestrich, age 59. Police say Bellard is the only suspect in this incident.

Police say Bellard remains under guard in stable condition at the UW Hospital in Madison.


UPDATE: We're learning more about yesterday's murder attempted-suicide in Rock County. The victim has been identified as 59-year-old Christine Gestrich. Authorities say her neighbor 75-year-old Daniel Bellard shot and killed her, before trying to kill himself.

“We have heard that there has been some arguments between the neighbors on boundary lines but we don't know if that is the reason that this event occurred. This has just been part of the history of their relationship as neighbors,” said Rock County Sheriff, Robert Spoden.

Police say Guestrich drove to this barn on Stuart road in Plymouth, where the two got into a physical fight before he shot and killed her. Officers found Bellard in a different shed with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Neighbors say he'd put his house up for sale which Guestrich used to own. Brian Burki says for him the shooting hits closer to home.

"I asked a fella who was here what the woman's name was, I said Chris who? and they said Chris Gestrich and I’m like, I'm related to her, see her every week. and that's, pretty much it shocked me,” said Burki.

We're told an autopsy was performed this morning. Bellard remains in critical condition at U.W. Hospital in Madison.


UPDATE: The name of the woman who was shot and later died is 59 year old Christine Gestrich of West Stuart Road in Plymouth Township.

The name of the suspect, who remains in critical condition, is 75 year old Daniel Bellard of West Stuart Road in Plymouth Township.

Police have clarified the two were neighbors. The investigation is ongoing.


UPDATE: (WIFR) -- A quiet Rock County neighborhood has turned into a crime scene after a man is accused of murdering his neighbor and then trying to kill himself. Now, the shooting has left the town of Hanover, in shock.

Bill Sather usually hears about everything in the small community of Hanover Wisconsin. He owns a local gas station about 10 minutes outside of town. However, Sather never thought he'd hear about a fatal shooting and that one of his loyal customers would allegedly pull the trigger.

"It’s tough when you've seen them both just recently and it's just a senseless deal,” said Sather.

Rock County Sheriff's deputies responded to a house on Stuart Road where they found a woman's body in a nearby shed. Officers say they found the suspect in a different shed, with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. They won't release any names.

Police aren't revealing the two's relationship. Neighbor Travis Wuthrich tells us they were neighbors who had been arguing over a property line. Regardless of the reason, now Travis says the community will be a little more guarded.

"Everybody’s going to be locking doors and taking a lot more precautions in dealing with everybody now,” said Wuthrich.

The murder suspect is in critical condition at U.W. Hospital. Police couldn't reveal where he allegedly shot himself.


UPDATE: A woman was fatally shot this morning in Western Rock County.

We've been told that a 70-year-old man allegedly shot a woman to death in Hanover, Wisconsin and then apparently tried to kill himself. The apparent suicide was unsuccessful and at this time, the lone suspect is in custody at UW Hospital listed in critical condition. Police believe he is the only suspect involved. Police tell us the scene has been secured and there is no reason for residents to be fearful for their safety.

The woman, who is said to have been about 50-60 years old was found dead by Police. Police are unsure about the relationship between the two.

The apparent murder is still under investigation.


ROCK COUNTY (WIFR) -- Rock County Sheriff’s Deputies have responded to a report of a shooting on Stuart Road in Plymouth Township. Plymouth township is between Orfordville and Janesville.

At this time, Deputies are setting up a parameter and the Rock County SWAT Team is also responding.

Citizens are asked to avoid the Stuart Road area.

We'll bring you more information as we get it.


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