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Neenah victim was beaten, stabbed after confronting bikers at bar, criminal complaint says

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 11:43 AM CDT
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NEENAH, Wis. (WBAY) - Winnebago County prosecutors say Rodger Ridgeway thought his mother was mistreated at a bar, so he went to confront people at that bar. Minutes later, he was murdered.

Terran Colwell, 28, of Blaine, Minn., and Mandel Roy, 26, of Minneapolis, were charged Wednesday with felony murder.

According to the criminal complaints, Ridgeway’s mother called 911 from Gord’s Pub at 8:30 the night of the murder, saying a woman struck her. The responding officer found out the mother was upset that bikers wouldn’t take her for a ride, saying she was too drunk. Her boyfriend took her home and she was advised not to come back to the bar.

It appears Ridgeway came to Gord’s Pub a couple hours later. The bartender initially thought it was Ridgeway’s mother, telling police she came to the bar wearing men’s clothing and carrying a stick, confronting people at the bar.

Just before midnight, a person approached a police officer and said someone was lying on the grass in a parking lot near the bar. The officer found the 22-year-old Ridgeway dead, with two stab wounds to his chest and bruising on his face and body. Near his body was a wooden club police identified as a “tire knocker,” used to check a tire’s inflation “but also effective as a weapon,” and a cellphone with a case containing Mandel Roy’s credit card.

Investigators collected surveillance video from nearby businesses and homes. Investigators say a business’s video shows Ridgeway’s mother approach the bikers and their motorcycles. After some conversation, she flips off some of the bikers and gets into a physical fight with them, and a woman appears to hit her.

At 10:30, Ridgeway is seen parking his car at Plexus on Martens St. At 11:09 P.M., a business camera captures him walking southeast from the area of Gord’s Pub with a group of people, including one with Hell’s Lovers patches on their clothing. Roy is seen carrying a “long, club-like object” consistent with the tire knocker. There’s a fight, then two people run off, essentially going around the block and entering Eagle Nation Cycles on Main St. Investigators believe those two people were Terran Colwell and Roy.

Eventually, investigators received permission to search Eagle Nation Cycles. They say video shows Colwell moments after the fight with Ridgeway carrying what appears to be a knife and a wallet. Ridgeway didn’t have any identification on his body and his wallet was never found.

Investigators learned Colwell and Roy were questioned in Shawano County over a suspicious vehicle complaint. Roy was held on drug charges, but Colwell, who identified herself as Terran Barna, was allowed to go.

Neenah police also arrested a third person, 51-year-old Charles Hoofman, who they say was seen in videos very close to the fight, but investigators couldn’t tell if he joined in. He also left Ridgeway on the ground at the end of the fight. He was not been charged.

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