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Pray bound over for trial in baseball bat killing

by
Andrew Pray in court
Scott Rifleman, Portage County Coroner
Judge Thomas Eagon
Andrew Pray in court

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- The man accused of killing his stepfather with a baseball bat has been bound over for trial.

A judge ruled Monday that there was enough evidence to charge 32-year-old Andrew Pray with first degree intentional homicide.

Assistant District Attorney Cass Cousins called four witnesses to the stand during today’s preliminary hearing. Plover officers Brent Thurer and Michael Tracy, Coroner Scott Rifleman, and State Pathologist Dr. Robert Corliss.

Cousins says the court heard more than enough to bind Pray over for trial.  “A case like this is extraordinarily serious, so we do have the hearing and try to be as comprehensive as possible. I think that, in terms of what relevant facts are going to come into play later on in the event of a trial in this case, I think most of them were heard today.”

Pray sat motionless in court, and did not speak with his attorneys. The defense did not cross examine Coroner Scott Rifleman, and had few questions for Dr. Robert Corliss.

Cousins says there are no plea deals in the works, and they are preparing for a jury trial at this point.  “There have not been any discussions or negotiations at this point, just simply far too early in this case. There’s a preliminary hearing that is done now and the defendant’s bound over, but I think any developments in resolving this case without trial will occur at the pretrial conference in August.”

Pray is accused of striking his stepfather 77-year-old Christopher Bonnstetter three or four times with the bat as he lay resting on the living room floor on May 26th. Bonnstetter was removed from life support and died on June 3rd.

Pray remains in jail on $250,000 bond, and will be back in court August 18th for a status conference.

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