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By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMNONIE — A Dunn County judge has increased the cash bail to $500,000 for former Colfax resident Richard Seehaver and has ordered a competency evaluation.
Seehaver, 52, was scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Dunn County Circuit Court January 14. He is charged with first degree intentional homicide in the death of John M. Likeness, 54, at Likeness’s home in Menomonie on the afternoon of December 30.
Likeness also was originally from Colfax and graduated from Colfax High School in 1982.
At an initial court hearing January 8, Seehaver asked for a speedy preliminary hearing, which means he had a right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days.
Judge Rod Smeltzer set the preliminary hearing for January 14 so it would fall within the timeframe required.
Charles Huff, Seehaver’s attorney, told Judge Smeltzer at the January 14 court hearing that he was raising issues about Seehaver’s competency.
Huff said he’d had several opportunities to speak with Seehaver over the previous week, and he was concerned about Seehaver being competent to assist in his own defense but also was concerned about Seehaver’s competency at the time of Likeness’s death on December 30.
Huff said he was not ready to proceed with the preliminary hearing.
At a preliminary hearing, witnesses give testimony, and then a judge determines whether there is probable cause a crime was committed by the defendant and then binds the defendant over for an arraignment hearing.
According to the criminal complaint, the Menomonie Police Department received a 911 call at about 3:18 p.m. Sunday, December 30, 2018, from an unknown man reporting an altercation at 603 15th Street SE in Menomonie.
A police officer banged on the window of the house with his flashlight to get Seehaver’s attention, and when Seehaver walked toward the window and asked the identity of the officer, the officer saw blood on Seehaver’s face and on his clothing. Seehaver then came outside and told officers his “house mate might be inside,” according to the complaint.
The provisional report from the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office by Dr. Kelly Mills indicates Likeness sustained a crossbow wound to the left chest and three sharp force injuries to the neck. Dr. Mills reported the cause of death was the crossbow wound, and the manner of death was homicide.
Seehaver told investigators he had shot Likeness with a crossbow while Likeness was sitting in a chair, and when investigators asked if Likeness had died right away, Seehaver said, “No, I had to cut his throat, too,” according to the complaint.
Judge Smeltzer said several options existed for the January 14 court hearing.
If the preliminary hearing were held, all jurisdictions and objections would be preserved, and he could still order a competency evaluation for Seehaver, Judge Smeltzer said.
Huff said after speaking with Seehaver, he wanted to waive the time limits for the preliminary hearing, asked that the preliminary hearing be rescheduled and requested the competency evaluation be handled first.
Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf said she had no objection to rescheduling the preliminary hearing.
When Judge Smeltzer asked Seehaver if he wanted to waive the time limits for the preliminary hearing, Seehaver answered in a clear, strong voice, “Yes, your honor.”
Based on the competency concerns, Judge Smeltzer ordered a competency evaluation for Seehaver and scheduled a preliminary hearing and a review of the competency evaluation on February 28 at 2:30 p.m.
Judge Smeltzer had previously set a cash bail of $200,000 for Seehaver.
At the January 14 court hearing, based on a review of the criminal complaint filed with the court, the judge increased Seehaver’s bail to $500,000 cash.
District Attorney Nodolf asked that the conditions for the cash bail include not allowing Seehaver to leave the state and not allowing Seehaver to possess any dangerous weapons.
Judge Smeltzer agreed and set the conditions that if Seehaver is able to post the half million dollars in bail, he is not allowed to leave the state and also is not allowed to possess dangerous weapons.