Jury Trials Scheduled for 2 Men Charged Criminally in Barron County Death Case
Jury trials are scheduled in Barron County Circuit Court for two men charged criminally following the death of a Chetek man in August 2017.
Two Barron County men were arrested late in August 2017 and then later charged following the death of Mark Johnson, of Chetek, WI. According to a press release issued by the Barron County Sheriff’s Department, autopsy results indicated that Johnson died from natural causes at Ricky Saastad’s Chetek residence after a night spent smoking methamphetamine with Saastad and Mike Wojciechowski.
According to online circuit court records, this incident occurred on August 6, 2017. The Barron County Sheriff’s Department stated that Johnson’s deceased body was dragged to his car and placed in the passenger seat. Money was taken from his person and then Wojciechowski drove the car down the road and left it. The press release went on to state that Saastad raked out the drag marks from moving Johnson’s body and disposed of the drug evidence.
Wojciechowski faces charges in Barron County Circuit Court of Class G Felony Theft of Movable Property from a Corpse, Misdemeanor Resisting or Obstructing an Officer, and Misdemeanor Theft of Movable Property.
Online circuit court records indicate that originally Wojciechowski was also charged with Class F Felony Hiding a Corpse, however, at a hearing on September 6, 2017, the Court ruled that probable cause was not found for that felony charge and on the 7th of September that charge was dismissed on the Court’s own motion.
Saastad has been charged criminally in Barron County Circuit Court with Class I Felony Maintaining a Drug Trafficking Place and Misdemeanor Resisting or Obstructing an Officer.
Jury trials are now scheduled for both men in Barron County Circuit Court in January 2018. Saastad was placed on a $500 cash bond on August 25, 2017, and online circuit court records indicate that he posted that bail a few days later. Wojciechowski was placed on a $2,500 cash bond on August 25, 2017, and it is believed that he remains in the custody of the Barron County Jail.
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.
Two Arrested in Barron County Death Case
Tuesday, August 22, 2017 | Barron County Sheriff's Department l Press Release
On Tuesday, August 22, 2017, the Barron County Sheriff’s Department arrested Ricky Saastad, 62 of Chetek, and Mike Wojciechowski, 37 of Chetek, in connection with the death of Mark Johnson.
Saastad is being held on felony charges of Maintaining a Drug House, Resisting and Obstructing for knowingly concealing items at the scene of the death.
Wojciechowski is being held on a probation violation along with charges of Resisting and Obstructing as party to the crime and theft for taking money from Johnson after he passed away.
Autopsy results indicated Mark Johnson died from natural causes at Saastad’s residence in Chetek sometime in the morning after a night of all three subjects smoking meth. Johnson’s deceased body was dragged to his car, money was taken from his person, then stuffed into the passenger seat of the car and Wojciechowski drove the car down the road and left it. Saastad raked out the drag marks and disposed of the drug evidence.
Both subjects are being held in the Barron County Jail awaiting formal charges by the Barron County District Attorney’s Office.
Per Chris Fitzgerald, Barron County Sheriff
Deceased Man Discovered in Car; Authorities Ruling as Suspicious
Monday, August 7, 2017 | BCSO l Press Release
On Sunday, August 6, 2017, at 8:00 a.m., the Barron County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call of a male passed out behind the wheel of a car on 25th St at 9 3⁄4 Ave north of Chetek.
Deputies from the Barron County Sheriff’s Department along with the Chetek Ambulance Service and First Responders responded to the scene.
When deputies arrived, they located a male subject deceased in the vehicle and he appeared to have been placed on the floor on the passenger side of the vehicle.
Sheriff’s Department Detectives were called to the scene and two subjects were questioned reference this suspicious death. This is an isolated incident and there is no threat to the public.
The deceased was Mark E Johnson, 56 of Chetek.
At this time, the death is being ruled suspicious and we are awaiting autopsy results.
Per Chris Fitzgerald, Barron County Sheriff