BURNETT COUNTY -- Criminal charges have been filed against Charles Beenken, of Frederic, WI following an incident that occurred in Burnett County on November 18, 2018. According to the criminal complaint filed against Beenken, shortly after 1p on the 18th of November, Burnett County law enforcement received a report of a domestic incident. The individual who called 911 had escaped the residence, and told law enforcement that the suspect had choked a 5-year-old child and was still at the residence.
Law enforcement responded to the residence and after checking numerous rooms of the residence (many of which were found to be contaminated by animal feces on the floor) they located a child’s bed with a small lump of blankets. Inside the blankets, they found a child who was crying and had visible injuries. The child stopped crying when he saw the uniforms that the Deputies were wearing, and allowed a Deputy to pick him up.
The criminal complaint states that the child was bleeding from the head and had a large laceration on his forehead. The child told Deputies, “I need to go to a doctor, my daddy hurt me.” Deputies also observed that the child’s left eye was swollen shut and the child’s face was blue/purple in color with blood coming from his nostrils and mouth and dried blood all over his face. The child also smelled like swamp water. The child was safely removed from the residence and taken for medical assistance. The child was later diagnosed with a broken orbital bone, broken sinus cavity, bleeding in the sinus cavity, a subdural hematoma between his skull and brain, and had gravel in some bodily orifices.
Deputies conducted a full search of the residence, and did not locate anyone else. In the basement, Deputies found gravel on the basement floor and a patch of water that was bloody in color along with a broken plastic electrical cord reel that appeared to have blood on it. Samples of the bloody water and the gravel were collected as evidence along with the plastic reel. Deputies also found marijuana and a smoking pipe in the basement.
A short time after Deputies responded to the residence, Charles Beenken was located in a swampy area near Agate and Townhall Roads, standing about 25 or 30 yards from the road. Beenken was taken into custody.
When investigators interviewed the 911 caller she said that on the date of the incident, she had smoked marijuana with Beenken and shortly after that heard the child screaming for help. When she went downstairs, she saw that Beenken had the child on the floor, pushing the child’s face into the concrete. She went on to say that Beenken also grabbed her, pulling her to the floor. She recalled that there was a pool of blood around the child, and that at one point Beenken held both her face and the child’s face to the floor, demanding that they each tell him that they love him, and stating that he was going to kill them both. She told investigators Beenken strangled her around her neck two times, blocking her ability to breathe. At some point, Beenken left the basement, locking her and the child inside. After attempting to apply pressure to the child’s injuries and placing him in a dry area of the basement, the 911 caller managed to escape the basement and went to call 911.
A forensic interview of the child was also conducted. The child told investigators that during the incident, Beenken dragged him down the steps and then started punching him “everywhere”. The child also told investigators that the 911 caller ended up on the floor with him and that Beenken hurt them both. The child went on to say that he was saved by “The cops.”
Investigators also had knowledge that Beenken is known to walk with a cane and has been known to use a wheelchair, according to the criminal complaint. When the 911 caller was asked about this, she stated that during the time in the basement, Beenken was not using anything to assist himself and it was ‘like his back was not broken’. The child also told investigators that earlier in the day Beenken had been using a cane to walk around, however, while in the basement, he did not use the cane.
Beenken is facing the following criminal charges:
- Two counts of Class B Felony Attempt First Degree Intentional Homicide (with a maximum sentence of 60 years imprisonment)
- Two counts of Class H Felony False Imprisonment (with a maximum sentence of 6 years imprisonment)
- One count of Class C Felony Physical Abuse of Child-Intentionally Cause Great Harm (with a maximum sentence of 40 years imprisonment)
- One count of Class H Felony Strangulation and Suffocation (with a maximum sentence of 6 years imprisonment)
- Two counts of Class H Felony Bail Jumping (with a maximum sentence of 6 years imprisonment)
- One count of Misdemeanor Battery (with a maximum sentence of 9 months imprisonment)
- One count of Misdemeanor Possession of THC (Marijuana) (with a maximum sentence of 6 months imprisonment)
- One count of Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (with a maximum sentence of 30 days imprisonment)
Online circuit court records show that Beenken was placed on a $100,000 cash bail bond at a hearing on November 21, 2018 in Burnett County Circuit Court. He made an initial appearance on December 19, 2018 regarding these criminal charges. At that hearing, Beenken’s defense attorney made a motion to reduce Beenken’s bail bond to $10,000. The Court denied that motion. Beenken is scheduled to appear again in March 2019.
Beenken is facing additional criminal charges in Burnett County Circuit Court for Domestic Battery, Domestic Disorderly Conduct and Felony Bail Jumping from an incident that occurred on October 31, 2018. He was placed on a cash bail bond on November 1, 2018, regarding those charges, and bond was posted for Beenken that same day. Online circuit court records show that Beenken is scheduled to appear later this month for another hearing on that case.
A third criminal case is filed against Beenken in Polk County Circuit Court, charging him with Felony Burglary and Criminal Damage to Property stemming from an incident that occurred in May 2018. Beenken was placed on a $5,000 signature bond in August 2018, with conditions prohibiting him from possessing or using alcohol or controlled substances unless prescribed by a doctor. Restitution requests have been filed with the Court by the victims in that case: Minit Mart and Northwest WI Electric Co. Beenken is scheduled to appear next in February regarding those charges.
Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.