Jury finds Eau Claire man not guilty of homicide in Dunn County

A jury trial ended after 7 days with a not guilty verdict for 39-year-old Chad Turgeson.
A 39-year-old Eau Claire man is charged with homicide in Dunn County. His jury trial began...
A 39-year-old Eau Claire man is found not guilty of homicide in Dunn County. His jury trial began Monday, July 18, 2022 in Dunn County Circuit Court (Wisconsin).(Wisconsin Department of Justice Livestream)
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 7:23 AM CDT
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MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) - A jury trial for an Eau Claire man charged in the death of a Hayward man in Dunn County ended after seven days with the jury finding the defendant not guilty of homicide in Dunn County Circuit Court Tuesday.

39-year-old Chad Turgeson was found not guilty of 1st-degree intentional homicide with the use of a dangerous weapon as a party to a crime in the death of Bruce McGuigan, who was found dead in a rural Dunn County home on November 17, 2020.

Turgeson was found guilty of retail theft of under $500 as a party to a crime by the jury and was sentenced to six months in jail with six months time served. Turgeson was also ordered to pay $463 in court costs. The jury began deliberations Monday and reached a verdict Tuesday evening, ending the seven-day trial.

Turgeson was one of three people charged after Bruce McGuigan of Hayward was found dead at a Town of Dunn home. The other two people that received charges are 26-year-old Ashley Gunder, who was sentenced in January in Dunn County Circuit Court to 25 years in prison and 10 years extended supervision after pleading no contest and being found guilty of the same homicide charge as Turgeson. 39-year-old Ryan Steinhoff is also facing the same homicide charge and is scheduled for a jury trial in November. Steinhoff is also charged with retail theft and also faces drug charges in Chippewa, Price and Taylor counties, according to online court records.

According to court documents filed with the charges, the three people were charged with killing McGuigan, who was 37 years old at the time of his death. The Dunn County Sheriff’s Office said they found McGuigan dead at a home on 440th Street in the Town of Dunn after being called to do a welfare check. Investigators said McGuigan was picked up in Hayward two days prior, on November 15, by Steinhoff and Gunder and brought to Menomonie. All three suspects said McGuigan was alive when they brought him to Dunn County. Investigators said that McGuigan was killed sometime overnight November 16 into November 17 and that an autopsy showed his cause of death was multiple blunt force injuries. When law enforcement arrived, they said that there were visible cuts on McGuigan’s head and blood around his body. Investigators found a number of suspected weapons, including a hammer, knives and a wooden table leg, that they believed were used in killing McGuigan.

In court documents filed with the charges, the Sheriff’s Office said that McGuigan was known to at least one of the three suspects and that the homicide was not random. One of the suspects, Gunder, said that it was Turgeson who killed McGuigan and that her job was to clean up afterwards. In the criminal complaint, it is alleged that Steinhoff is the one who assaulted McGuigan while the other two suspects were in the home. Law enforcement took one of the three suspects into custody at the scene and found the other two later on the same night at a Menomonie hotel.

Steinhoff is due in court August 29 for an oral ruling ahead of his scheduled jury trial in November. He is being held on a $500,000 cash bond at the Dunn County Jail.

Gunder is incarcerated at the Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Fond du Lac.

Dunn County death investigation
Dunn County death investigation(Dunn County Sheriff's Office)

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