Dunn County jury finds man guilty in homicide case

Nov. 23—MENOMONIE — A Dunn County jury deliberated about four hours on Tuesday before finding a Menomonie man guilty on four separate counts for his role in the death of a Hayward man at a rural Dunn County residence in November 2020.

Ryan L. Steinhoff, 39, formerly of Birnamwood, was found guilty of first-degree intentional homicide-party to a crime by use of a dangerous weapon, plus retail theft and two counts of bail jumping. The victim in the incident has been identified as Bruce E. McGuigan, 37. Steinhoff has been incarcerated on a $500,000 cash bond. After the verdict was read, Judge James Peterson revoked his bond.

While the jury reached that verdict Tuesday, defense attorney Matthew Krische explained the case is not over. Krische said in this first phase, the jury was asked to find if Steinhoff had committed the crimes. In the next phase of the trial, the jury will hear information and be asked to determine if Steinhoff is guilty by mental disease or defect. The jury will return on Monday to begin that phase of the trial. Krische declined to comment on the jury's verdict on Tuesday.

Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf also declined to comment Tuesday.

Steinhoff also has been charged in Taylor County Court with possession of methamphetamine and operating a drug-trafficking place. He is slated to make an initial appearance there on Dec. 6.

Steinhoff, 39-year-old Chad D. Turgeson, and 26-year-old Ashley A. Gunder of Menomonie were accused of killing McGuigan. Gunder pleaded no contest to first-degree reckless homicide in August 2021 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervison. However, a jury found Turgeson not guilty in June for his role in McGuigan's death.

According to the criminal complaint, Dunn County sheriff's deputies were called at 3 p.m. Nov. 17, 2020, to a residence on 440th Street in the town of Dunn on a report of a man who was badly injured there.

When deputies arrived at the residence, Gunder exited the home along with a dog.

Gunder said there was a man inside the residence who was believed to be deceased.

Authorities entered the residence and found McGuigan lying on the floor of a bedroom with visible lacerations on his head. A large amount of blood was on his face and the floor. There was also blood on a white mattress that was propped up vertically against a wall.

Authorities determined McGuigan was dead.

The owner of the residence said his home had been broken into while he was away. He returned to find the three defendants and the victim inside the residence. The owner was told that McGuigan was taught a lesson after being "schooled."

Gunder remained at the residence while Turgeson and Steinhoff left. Gunder told authorities Turgeson killed McGuigan while she was supposed to clean up the mess.

Gunder said she was unaware that McGuigan was going to be killed. But because of how "it all went down," Gunder believed it was the intention of Turgeson and Steinhoff to kill McGuigan from the start.

Gunder said she and Steinhoff picked McGuigan up in Hayward and brought him to the Dunn County residence. Gunder said McGuigan was beaten for about 90 minutes. She could hear a body being hit and McGuigan saying that "he didn't do it."

As far as she knew, Gunder said, McGuigan was being accused of kidnapping a woman.

Turgeson told authorities McGuigan was beaten by Steinhoff and denied ever kicking or striking the victim during the incident. Steinhoff admitted to striking McGuigan with his fists and a wooden bed post, and kicking him.

Authorities recovered multiple items at the residence that were believed to have been used during the incident including a hammer, knives and a wooden table leg.

An autopsy performed Nov. 18, 2020, at the Ramsey County (Minn.) Medical Examiner's Office in St. Paul showed McGuigan's death was caused by multiple blunt force injuries to the head and torso and stab wounds.

The autopsy showed McGuigan was stabbed in the right shoulder and right leg. McGuigan had several rib and facial fractures and a deep laceration to the back of his head. He also had a brain hemorrhage.