A Wisconsin man is charged with fatally beating his grandfather — a registered sex offender — with a hammer that was found sticking out of the victim’s face, authorities said.
Bryan Luitze II, 25, was charged Friday with first-degree intentional homicide in the gruesome bludgeoning of 70-year-old Charles Luitze, who was found lifeless on Aug. 15 in his Somers home with a hammer protruding from his head, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Kenosha News.
“It’s a particularly chilling homicide,” Assistant District Attorney Andrew Bergoyne said. “The mechanism of murder here with the hammer blows bludgeoning the victim in the middle of the face is noteworthy.”
Prior to the slaying, Bryan Luitze, of Racine, allegedly told a relative that he was angry over his grandfather’s 1991 child sex assault conviction, resulting in him having to register as a sex offender.
“How can you forgive him?” Bryan Luitze asked the male relative, according to a criminal complaint, adding that he was considering “taking [his grandfather] out” since he was unable to forgive “someone like that” for their past.
The unidentified relative told Bryan Luitze that his grandfather had “paid his debt to society” for his crime, the complaint states.
“It’s been a long time and it’s over,” the relative said.
The alleged killer also told a pal in August “how he hated Charles” and talked about the grandfather’s conviction, which happened before he was born, the friend told investigators.
But authorities say Bryan Luitze couldn’t get over his grandfather’s checkered past — and went to the old man’s home on Aug. 13 posing as a Census worker.
The septuagenarian didn’t recognize his grandson because he hadn’t seen him since he was a kid.
The pair walked together that day — the last day Charles Luitze was seen alive — but the visit left the victim shaken, he told a friend who later spoke with investigators, the newspaper reported.
The supposed Census worker didn’t have identification.
Two days later, Charles Luitze was found dead in his home by a neighbor, according to the criminal complaint.
Bryan Luitze, who was charged Friday, had been in custody at the Kenosha County Jail since mid-August on a probation hold in a previous conviction, the newspaper reported.
Prosecutors said during his initial court hearing Friday that a backpack stained with blood found at his home matches DNA evidence linked to his grandfather and that statements he allegedly made to his his relative indicate a “level of premeditation” in the slaying.
An attorney for Bryan Luitze, meanwhile, claimed several people had access to his backpack and insisted others had a motive to kill his grandfather, the Kenosha News reported.
A judge set his bond in the “grisly” slaying at $1 million. He’s expected to appear in court Monday for a preliminary hearing, according to the report.
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