$1 million bail in baseball bat attack case - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

$1 million bail in baseball bat attack case

Koalton Peterson Koalton Peterson

MADISON (WKOW) -- A Dane County court commissioner set bail Friday at $1 million for an 18-year-old suspect in the baseball bat attack of a Fitchburg man.

During the bail hearing for Koalton Peterson, assistant Dane County district attorney Rachel Sattler said the tentative, first degree intentional homicide charge against Peterson is likely to turn into a homicide charge.

UW Hospital officials say the victim of the attack, 20-year old Ryan M. Smith, is in critical condition.

A Dane County sheriff's spokesperson says Smith was hit with a baseball bat in Mount Horeb and found by authorities early Tuesday morning. He was taken by MedFlight to the hospital, with Peterson arrested a short time later. The spokesperson says drugs may have played some role in the violence. 

Court commissioner Todd Meuer says he expects criminal charges to be filed by Tuesday, when Peterson would have served a week in jail uncharged. Meuer says if charges are not filed by then, he would consider releasing Peterson.

Victim Smith's father, Jeff Smith, is the former owner of a Madison bus company.

A statement from the Smith family thanks Mount Horeb police officer Nathan Gretzinger, "...who heroically saved Ryan's life by performing CPR."


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