Former Kenai player charged with felony murder

Posted: Sunday, September 26, 2010

A former Kenai Central High School hockey star was arrested Thursday on felony murder charges in Menomonie, Wis. for allegedly assaulting a man who later died of his injuries.

Jedidiah McGlasson, 21, a University of Wisconsin-Stout student from Kenai, was taken into custody after Bradley Simon, 22, a senior studying construction from Waunakee, Wis., died Thursday in an Eau Clair hospital of serious head injuries sustained when his bicycle crashed into a cement wall after he was assaulted on Sept. 18, according to the Menomonie Police Department in Wisconsin.

Jared Britton, 23, a student from Regina, Saskatchewan was also arrested for being party to the crime of felony murder.

McGlasson was released Friday night on a $10,000 cash bond, according to Dunn County jail personnel. Britton posted bail earlier that day.

The men's initial appearance in court is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Monday.

According to reporting from the Chippewa Herald, the district attorney will have criminal complaints against McGlasson and Britton -- including additional aggravated battery charges -- prepared by then.

Under Wisconsin law, a felony murder is charge is a penalty enhancer that can be added to other charges when someone kills someone while committing another crime. The sentence for felony murder can add up to 15 years beyond the maximum term provided for that crime.

The Menomonie Police Department, other arrests may be made in relation to the incident.

The police department is working with the university and the Dunn County district attorney's office in the ongoing investigation into Simon's death.

Menomonie, a town of some 15,000 residents in the northwest part of the state, is home to the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

According to a statement on the incident released from police Thursday, the University of Wisconsin-Stout students Simon, McGlasson and Britton and others had a "verbal altercation" inside the Log Jam Tavern, a local bar and eatery, early Saturday morning before being separated by tavern staff.

Stoutonia, the University of Wisconsin-Stout's weekly student newspaper, reported that those who were involved in one side of the altercation had purchased "literally hundreds of dollars worth of shots."

"Many of the bar patrons including McGlasson and Britton eventually left through the front door and later congregated outside the tavern," the statement reads.

Simon then left the bar through the back door and rode away on his bicycle.

"Simon was then confronted by McGlasson and Britton. McGlasson and Britton assaulted Simon causing Simon and the bicycle he was riding to crash into a concrete wall," police wrote. "Upon impact, Simon was catapulted over the handle bars and struck his head on the wall resulting in serious head injuries."

According to the initial police report, "police officers who responded to the call received statements from bystanders indicating that the bicyclist may have been pushed, causing him to crash into the wall."

McGlasson and Britton left the scene before first responders arrived.

McGlasson was recruited by the University of Wisconsin-Stout to play hockey this year, according to the university's website.

He is a freshman majoring in engineering technology.

McGlasson, a 2007 graduate of Kenai Central, played on the Kenai River Brown Bear hockey team for two and a half years before finishing his North American Hockey League career on the Alaska Avalanche.

Britton, a senior studying manufacturing engineering, played three years for the hockey team.

Charles W. Sorensen, the University of Wisconsin-Stout Chancellor, said in a statement that he was "severely disappointed" to hear about the alleged behavior that led to the charges against two student hockey players.

"This is a tragedy for everyone involved. Obviously, the Simon family will be affected forever. We have two other students who face serious legal consequences. Our hockey team's reputation is at stake as well," he said. "We are vitally concerned for the health and safety of all of our students, faculty and staff. UW-Stout has zero tolerance for behavior that causes harm to self or other members of our community."

Within the last two years the university has had seven student deaths related to alcohol use, according to news accounts.

Sorensen said he instructed the dean of students to take strong disciplinary action in the case and look for solutions to high-risk alcohol use.

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at brielle.schaeffer@peninsulaclarion.com.



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