LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW)-- The first court appearance Wednesday for the 25-year-old man charged in the Sunday stabbing at Kwik Trip.
Mitrel Anderson is charged with first degree intentional homicide in the death of 24-year-old Demario Lee. The judge set bond for Anderson at $1 million dollars cash.
Also in court, Brittany Jones who police say helped Anderson leave town. Authorities arrested the two in Madison Monday morning. Jones' bond is set at $50,000 cash.
Wednesday's brief hearing drew friends and family from both sides. It was standing room only and security was tight at the La Crosse County Courthouse.
The family of the victim, Demario Lee, was escorted in by La Crosse Police Department investigators and extra court officers and members of the La Crosse County Sheriff's Department were on hand.
Friends and family of the victim and the suspect put out calls on Facebook for people to come and show support. Many of those in the courtroom know both parties. The victim and the suspect appear to have a number of mutual friends, and before the proceedings began Judge Pasell issued a warning.
"This is a courtroom, I expect people to behave appropriately," Judge Pasell said. "This is not the time and place for people to be trying to talk with each other, communicate with each other, chat about things."
When the hearing was over, investigators escorted Demario Lee's family to their cars and then waited until they drove away. There were also marked and unmarked police cars stationed outside the courthouse. But everyone did stay on their best behavior. There were a lot of tears and a lot of hugs but no confrontations.
In the criminal complaints filed today, we learned more about the crime and the method officers used to track down the suspects.
According to the complaint, the victim was stabbed at about 3:19 AM. The Kwik Trip employee called 9-1-1 about 3:20 AM, and it was less than two minutes between that call and police arriving on scene. But the suspect managed to flee.
According to police, surveillance footage shows a woman identified, as Brittany Jones, drive Anderson's car from Kwik Trip. Police say she then picked Anderson up a short distance from the crime scene.
The two fled to Madison, in a car registered to Jones' mother, but police worked with cell phone providers to locate the two.
"We're able to see where they're using these phones and what areas are they maybe located in," said Sgt. Randy Rank with the La Crosse Police Department. "There was a phone that was tracked in this case and it was coming out of the Middleton, WI area. And then through further investigative work we were able to develop some leads of potential locations."
In that criminal complaint, we also learned that two siblings of Mitrel Anderson lead police to Anderson's residence, where they located the car seen on video leaving Kwik Trip. Police say there was a small amount of a red substance on the back seat they believe to be blood.
Anderson and Jones have a preliminary hearing set for next Wednesday, when prosecutors will present some of their evidence against the two.
LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - A one million dollar cash bond was set for Mitrel Anderson, the man accused in a weekend homicide at a Kwik Trip store in La Crosse.
Judge Dale Pasell set the high bond during Anderson's initial court appearance in La Crosse County Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon.
Anderson was returned to La Crosse Tuesday after his arrest in Madison. Police said Monday that they tracked him to Madison through his cell phone.
He was wanted on a charge of First Degree Intentional Homicide in the stabbing death of Demario Lee early Sunday morning at the Kwik Trip at 506 Cass Street.
After the homicide, Anderson fled La Crosse with Brittany Jones, who prosecutors also charged with aiding a felon during a separate court hearing Wednesday. She was given a $50,000 cash bond for her charge.
Security was heavy at the courthouse for the hearing with numerous La Crosse Police and Sheriff's Department officers. Family members were escorted to and from their vehicles and courthouse by investigators.
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