Pair charged in Altoona homicide appear in court Tuesday
46-year-old Brandon Gaston and 55-year-old Tracey Clark are charged with 1st-degree intentional homicide in the death of an Altoona man.
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - The two people charged in the death of an Altoona man are bound over for trial.
46-year-old Brandon Gaston of Rockford, Illinois appeared in-person in Eau Claire County court Tuesday afternoon, and 55-year-old Tracey Clark of Altoona appeared via zoom for their preliminary hearings.
Tuesday, the judge found probable cause crimes were committed and ordered Gaston and Clark to stand trial on the charges.
Gaston and Clark were charged with 1st-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse as a party to a crime on Sept. 15 after a lengthy investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Altoona Police Department, in the death of 79-year-old Dennis Schattie of Altoona. Shattie’s body was found in the Rock River in Rockford on April 12.
Tuesday’s preliminary hearing was originally scheduled for Sept. 27, but was rescheduled after the defendants weren’t able to find legal representation until just before the hearings. Attorneys for the defendants requested another rescheduling of the preliminary hearing last week, but the requests were denied by the court.
In April, Altoona Police Chief Kelly Bakken described the investigation as “complex” and that the case involved multiple jurisdictions. In July, the Altoona Police Department named both Clark and Gaston as suspects in the case. The July release indicated the homicide took place in the City of Altoona and that “numerous” evidence items had been collected. Police described the homicide as “financially-motivated.” According to court documents filed with the charges, investigators believe Clark and Gaston were in an apparent relationship going back at least as far as October of 2020. Clark told investigators that she had been living with Schattie since 2019 and had known him for about 22 years.
A $1 million cash bond was set for both suspects in earlier court appearances, with conditions that they not contact each other or members of Schattie’s family. Gaston is being held at the Eau Claire County Jail. Clark is being held at Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Fond du Lac after her extended supervision was revoked in an unrelated case.
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