State, Defense Continue to Build Their Cases in 1976 Double Homicide
09/30/2019- The case against the man accused of murdering an engaged couple in Marinette County 43 years ago is moving forward, but not very quickly. A status conference was held Friday for 82-year-old Raymand Vanniewenhoven who’s facing two counts of first-degree intentional homicide for the shooting deaths of Ellen Matheys and David Schuldes at McClintock Park in 1976. The murders have been investigated for decades and Marinette County District Attorney DeShea Morrow says that’s left her office with a massive amount of discovery to sort through and relay to the defense and she requested another 60 to 90 days to do so. While this didn’t sit well with some of Vannieuwenhoven’s family members who were in court for Friday’s hearing, Vanniewenhoven’s attorney Lee Schucart agrees more time is needed.
“We hired an investigative team, we hired a DNA expert. So, we are working on multiple fronts to try to get on this. The court noted this was investigated for decades, so not only does this come with voluminous discovery, but that essentially puts us in the position that, for the next period of time, we have to try to piece that together and defend this case.”
It appears very likely the case will go to trial and if and when that happens, it’s expected to take weeks, not days, to complete. Judge Jim Morrison wants to reserve those dates as soon as possible, noting that Vannieuwenhoven, who has been housed at the Marinette County Jail since his arrest in March, is innocent until proven guilty.
“I’m looking at a man in an orange suit up there who’s presumed to be innocent. I’m also aware that this is extraordinarily serious. There’s no more serious charge in the criminal code than first degree intentional homicide, except first degree intentional homicide times two. This is about as serious as you can get.”
Another status conference has been set for January 7th. A motions hearing will be held February 20th and it is then that the court is expected to schedule Vannieuwenhoven’s jury trial.