Eau Claire (WQOW) - Ten days after Karie and Dean Lantz were found dead in their Eau Claire home, their son, Joseph Lantz, made another appearance in court.
Prosecutors said Joseph was arrested because he drove his truck around two different traffic barricades to get to the crime scene. They said he then got out of his truck. Eight officers told him to stop before they tackled him outside his home.
On Thursday, Joseph was charged with resisting an officer and disorderly conduct. Eau Claire County Judge Jon Theisen upheld his $500 bond.
Joseph and his sister, Angelina Schnook, said they were disappointed the charges were not dropped.
"My brother doesn't deserve this," Schnook said. "We don't deserve this."
Schnook said as they were leaving their parents house last week, Eau Claire police told her they were not going to charge her brother. Joseph said after he was placed in handcuffs, he calmed down enough that officers let him call Schnook. After that phone call, Joseph said police took him to The Eau Claire County Jail. Joseph said he was not read his rights until the next day and spent two days in the Eau Claire County Jail before facing a judge. Schnook said her family wanted to see Joseph during that time, but they were denied.
"They said they were offering him a chaplain and a grief counselor," Schnook said. "They are strangers. They are not family. They are not going to help him. Your first few hours, you need answers. You can't start the grieving process until you get that, and he was denied that."
The siblings said police have been supportive and understanding, and they want the same respect from District Attorney Gary King.
“They keep saying the next step is to heal and to move on as a family, but now we have two more court days through the end of March, so we can't even start that process,” Schnook said. “Some of these possible penalties are jail time. How can we do that as a family if we are going to lose my brother? To have that hang over our head, to have that potential possibility is devastating when we've already lost so much.”
Joseph said he would do anything to see his parents again. “I just wanted to see if I could bring comfort to my parents even though they were deceased. It still is something you feel like as a child, you want to comfort your parents, and there are these strangers in your house,” Joseph said.
On Thursday, when News 18 shared the news on social media, a petition started to dismiss all charges against Joseph. As of Thursday afternoon, the petition gained more than 300 signatures.
News 18 reached out to District Attorney Gary King but has not received a response. Lantz has court dates set on March 8 at 2 p.m. and March 28 at 9:30 a.m.
Posted on February 16, 2017:
Eau Claire (WQOW) - The son of an Eau Claire couple, who were found dead at their home in early February, appeared in court on Thursday.
Joseph Lantz, from Eau Claire, made an initial court appearance in Eau Claire County Court. According to the criminal complaint, Lantz is charged with resisting an officer and disorderly conduct. Both of these counts are misdemeanors.
News 18 reported on February 7 when Lantz was arrested for interfering with police at the crime scene of his parents' deaths. On Thursday, the judge upheld his bond of $500.
News 18 spoke with the Lantz family after Thursday's court hearing. Tonight at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., hear their reaction.
Posted on February 8, 2017:
Eau Claire (WQOW) - Joseph Lantz, the adult son of the couple who were found dead at their Eau Claire home Monday, appeared in court Wednesday on charges of interfering with police at the crime scene.
Prosecutors said he was arrested for restricting and obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct. They said Lantz drove his truck around two different traffic barricades. They said he then got out of his vehicle and was told to stop by at least eight officers before being tackled right before entering the home.
The prosecutor said police were still searching for threats at the time and the scene was still very active because there could have been a loaded gun on scene. No criminal complaint has been filed yet because of the ongoing investigation into the deaths of Dean and Karie Lantz.
The judge set a $500 signature bond and ordered Lantz not to possess a weapon or make contact with police unless he needs assistance.
Joseph Lantz is due back in court for an initial appearance February 16.
Police also want to be clear a rumor that has spread around social media; Deputy Chief Matt Rokus said a taser was not used on Joseph Lantz, and that officers used the least amount of force possible to arrest him.
Police also said he was not only driving past the barricades that led to the arrest but also repeated threats towards law enforcement during an interview at the station. There, Lantz said he would return to the home Monday and hurt officers if released.
Police said they offered Lantz a number of grief support options. They said, during the tragedy, the last thing they wanted to do was arrest a member of the Lantz family.