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Search of housing on military base was legal in murder case, judge rules

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — A search by Dane County investigators and military authorities of an on-base apartment rented by accused killer Jeffrey Vogelsberg and his wife was legal and will not be suppressed, a judge ruled Wednesday.

In a written ruling, Dane County Circuit Judge Julie Genovese wrote that authorities were not violating the rights of Jeffrey Vogelsberg, accused of beating his half-brother Matthew Graville to death in 2012, when they searched his apartment for evidence in November 2012.

Graville died in June 2012 at a home he shared with Vogelsberg in Mazomanie. His body was not found until November 2012. Vogelsberg is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse.

There were three searches authorized of the home that Vogelsberg shared with his wife, Shannon Remus, who was an Army private at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in the state of Washington.

Vogelsberg’s lawyer, David Karpe, maintained that the searches were authorized not by search warrants but by a military magistrate, and that Vogelsberg was not subject to the searches because he was not in the military. He also argued that there was no military purpose for the searches and that no probable cause shown to conduct them.

Among the items authorities were looking for were computers, digital storage media and a chest freezer that had contained Graville’s body for a few days before he was buried in a wooded area near Lone Rock.

Genovese ruled that the Army had the authority to permit the searches even though Vogelsberg was a civilian. She also ruled that his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches was not violated.

No trial has been scheduled in Vogelsberg’s case, but a status conference is set for April 23.
 

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