Oconto Falls man formally charged with intentional homicide

Dennis Sutrick, 46, made his court appearance early Wednesday afternoon.
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 4:07 PM CDT
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OCONTO FALLS, Wis. (WBAY) - An Oconto Falls man has been formally charged with first degree intentional homicide after a domestic incident left a woman dead.

Dennis Sutrick, 46, made his court appearance early Wednesday afternoon.

State prosecutors asked for a $1 million cash bond.

As Action 2 News previously reported on Tuesday, Sutrick was being held in jail while formal charges were pending for an incident last week.

According to the complaint, Ashwaubenon police were called to the Motel 6 on Ramada Way just after 8:30 a.m. on Friday, August 28 for a report of a 54-year-old woman who wasn’t responding, and possibly wasn’t breathing or had a pulse.

When officers arrived, they say they found a man, identified as Sutrick, holding the door open and was described as “appearing to be in distress”, and was smoking a cigarette.

Sutrick then told officials his girlfriend is in the room and wasn’t responding.

According to the complaint, one of the officers said the woman, identified by the initials of G.M.B, felt cold to the touch and didn’t have any signs of life, and documents state that life saving measures weren’t going to be attempted at that time.

However, after speaking with a female witness identified as A.L.K., officials learned there may have been a faint pulse before starting CPR on G.M.B, and emergency crews started life saving measures, including one of the officers, according to court documents.

The complaint goes on to say the victim was eventually hospitalized, and officers spoke with Sutrick in the hotel room.

In the complaint, police state Sutrick told them G.M.B. hadn’t been feeling well the last couple of days, and had found G.M.B. in the bathtub unresponsive after returning from a convenience store. Before he left, police were told she had been laying on the bed, saying she wasn’t feeling well.

Police state in the complaint Sutrick told them G.M.B. hadn’t done any drugs except marijuana the day before, and added she had told Sutrick she took nitro pills.

Documents state Sutrick and the victim had only been together for about two months.

According to a witness police spoke to at the scene, an argument coming from Sutrick and G.M.B.’s room could be heard 5 a.m.

Police also spoke with an employee, identified by the initials of J.L.J., who saw Sutrick yelling down the hallway that he needed help, and he let her in, but “was absolutely no help after letting her into the room”.

The complaint states J.L.J. needed help getting G.M.B. out of the bathtub but wasn’t able to lift her out on her own, and then found another person identified as A.M.B.

After lifting G.M.B. out of the tub, A.M.B. checked for a pulse and started CPR, and J.L.J. stated she noticed Sutrick wasn’t in the room, and found him in the side entrance smoking a cigarette, the same entrance officers found him when they arrived.

In the complaint, it states J.L.J. told officers “it seemed strange that Dennis did not want to stick around and help G.M.B.”, and felt worried enough that he may have been involved with the bruises found on G.M.B. Police say in the complaint that J.L.J. quieted her voice and whispered to officers that she felt G.M.B. “got beaten up.”

Documents state J.L.J. told police she found many bruises on G.M.B.’s arms and face while pulling her out of the tub, and the victim’s eyes were black and blue and also appeared swollen.

Officers then spoke with a front desk worker, and learned the worker had seen G.M.B. and Dennis when checking them into their room on Wednesday, August 26 at 5:02 p.m. The complaint states the worker then told police the two seemed to be happy with each other, and didn’t recall anything out of the ordinary during the check-in.

According to the complaint, an Ashwaubenon police officer contacted St. Vincent Emergency Room to discuss G.M.B.’s status, and the primary nurse for G.M.B. told police the victim was being declared brain dead, and they weren’t able to find next of kin.

The nurse told police a doctor stated G.M.B. was in her condition due to traumatic injuries, which included significant head and chest trauma, and added the victim had a broken eye socket and a chest tube was placed due to the chest trauma. Due to the next steps that needed to be taken, police told the nurse they would find next of kin.

The complaint states an evidence technician took photos of the victim, as well as the backboard the victim was taken to the hospital on, and gathered evidence on the morning of the 28th.

After a warrant was signed on the afternoon of the 28th, the evidence technician searched and an investigator entered the hotel room and searched for evidence, where officials state they found a white bathmat/towel with red stains, a large amount of clumped, black hair believed to belong to G.M.B. in a duffel bag, a broken wooden hanger, a pillow with multiple stains and was damp, the top and fitted sheets with multiple stains, and a grey fleece blanket with a large stain.

Officials say they took a swab set of a red stain found in the tub, and a red stain on the toilet cover, and they collected the victim’s cell phone.

Investigators also state in the complaint the bathroom door handle appeared to be pushed into the door from the living area side and not the bathroom side, and stated the damage had the appearance as if there was a “significant force exerted to the handle from the outside of the door.”

The complaint says multiple officers stated while speaking with Sutrick that he didn’t appear to be crying, despite needing to compose himself to speak. Documents say he told officers that when he found help for his girlfriend and let witnesses into the room, he needed a break to collect his emotions, so he left the room.

Police state in the complaint they brought Sutrick to the station without restraints, and added he wasn’t in custody, and could leave the interview room at any time.

In the complaint, Sutrick told police he and G.M.B. met on Facebook in April of 2020, and then met in person shortly after, adding Dennis stated GM.B. considered him her boyfriend, but he didn’t consider her his girlfriend because they didn’t have a complete connection, but then stated G.M.B. had cheated on Sutrick in late May, so they didn’t see each other through June and July, and were going to try to start over in their relationship.

According to court documents, Sutrick told police that G.M.B. bruises easily because she was on blood thinners, and was on prescriptions for her heart and diabetes.

He also denied having an argument that a witness had heard coming from their room around 4:30 a.m. and also denied hitting or hurting G.M.B. in any way during the entire time at the hotel.

Documents state police noted Sutrick had changed his story multiple times on how he had found G.M.B.

After investigators spoke with each other, Sutrick was eventually detained, and the complaint states Sutrick told police he would continue speaking with them without an attorney present.

The document states Sutrick changed his written statement four different times before signing the final draft.

According to the complaint, an autopsy was done on August 31, and based on preliminary findings, the medical examiner’s office says the woman died from blunt force injury to the head and neck with evidence of manual strangulation and subdural hematoma, and added it was non-accidental trauma, and the manner of death was a homicide.

Court records show Sutrick was convicted in Oconto County in April of 2018 for charges of Battery and Disorderly Conduct.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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