It's been nearly a year since Joel Marino died after being attacked in his Madison home in broad daylight. Now, the man who pleaded guilty to the murder is dead by his own hand. 20-year-old Adam Peterson was being held at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun as part of an assessment and evaluation period to determine which prison inmates are sent to serve their sentences.
The former UW student was not on suicide watch, even though he had attempted to take his own life during his time in the Dane County Jail. The state corrections' department and Dodge County sheriff's deputies are investigating the incident.
The murder victim's parents say they wanted to cry when they learned about the suicide, not because Peterson is dead, but because their days in a courtroom are finally over. Marino had been preparing for Peterson's sentencing hearing next month. He had been gathering notes and stories to convince the judge that the stiffest penalty was necessary. Marino says it's a relief that he won't have to go through that, but he's not sure if justice has really been served for his son.
Peterson's public defender says the death came as a shock. Dennis Burke says his client appeared upbeat in a recent visit and appeared to be coming to terms with his future.
Contributed by Jason Fischer-WIBA