Seventeen-year-old Richard Wilson was charged Tuesday in Waukesha County Circuit Court with first-degree intentional homicide of his grandfather, Ron Siepmann, a Pewaukee developer.
If convicted, Wilson, a Fox Point resident, could be sentenced to life in prison.
According to the criminal complaint, Martha Wilson — Richard Wilson’s mother and Siepmann’s daughter — found Siepmann, 78, dead in a shed on the property of his town of Merton home late Sunday morning.
Siepmann, according to the complaint, sustained defensive wounds to his hand and head injuries that apparently came from several blows from an ax, which was found near the body.
Richard Wilson was with other family members on the property when his mother discovered Siepmann’s body, according to the complaint.
At the request of Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, Intake Court Commissioner Martin Binn set cash bail at $2 million for Wilson.
At the hearing — attended by Schimel, Wilson and his defense attorney, Jennifer Dorow — Binn called the crime “graphic,” “brutal” and “horrific.” Wilson did not make a statement during the hearing.
Schimel said Wilson, who wore a protective green smock to the hearing, has a history of mental instability, had been off his medication at the time of the murder and also had made additional threats to other family members.
Binn ordered that Wilson undergo a competency evaluation before his next court date, which was set for May 26.
Dorow, of Huppertz & Dorow SC, Waukesha, recommended a bail of $500,000, given that Wilson had no prior criminal record, but she conceded to the mental health evaluation.
In an interview, Schimel said he could not speculate about whether Wilson would be competent to stand trial. Schimel also said that, as of Tuesday, investigators had not identified a motive for the murder.
According to the complaint, Martha Wilson said her son was diagnosed with schizophrenia in November.
The Siepmann family on Tuesday released a statement thanking people for their support and requesting privacy.
“Life will not be the same without him,” according to the statement, “and he will be terribly missed.”
Siepmann founded Siepmann Realty Corp. in 1943.
Associate editor Caley Clinton also contributed to this report.