Steven Pirus is expected to claim he was helping wife with assisted suicide
Madison police Chief Mike Koval said he believes the man who allegedly killed his wife and intentionally blew up their house last week to cover up the homicide intends to enter a plea of conducting assisted suicide which means that his wife asked him to kill her.
Steven Pirus is in custody for allegedly shooting his 50-year-old wife, Lee Anne Pirus, and attempting to cover up the crime with a house explosion, according to Madison police.
“My sense is that now that he’s a charged defendant, he’s going to allege something in the order that she asked him to kill her because she couldn’t commit suicide on her own,” Koval said.
“We don’t have anything to suggest that that’s the supposition, so we are going to continue to look at all angles and not lock and load on one so we can stay objective.”
Lee Anne Pirus died from gunshot weeks or months before home exploded
Koval said they will look at financial records, talk to family members and friends, and see if there were marital issues or mental health issues.“We want to nail down all those suppositions that he might allege, what prompted him to take this kind of action,” Koval said. “I suspect he’ll try to show himself as a humanitarian trying to help his wife and we’re going to show what we believe is a cold, calculated killer.”
Madison Fire and Rescue put out flames of the explosion that razed the Pirus family home,Wednesday
Steven Pirus [Right], is in custody for allegedly shooting his wife, Lee Anne Pirus, [left]
Criminal defense attorney Tim Kiefer said he has never seen a case like this in more than a decade of practice. According to Kiefer, assisted suicide carries a three year maximum sentence in Wisconsin, while first degree intentional homicide carries a life sentence. If Pirus is found guilty of shooting his wife, Kiefer said assisted suicide would not apply.
“Absent any kind of suicide note, with a house having exploded, it doesn’t at all fit with what you would think as assisted suicide would be like,” Kiefer explained. “They both would know he would be getting in legal trouble as a result of this and you would think that she would want to explain the situation after her death. He doesn’t have a lot to work with legally,” he said.
Steven Pirus blew up their Madison Wisc. home after killing wife Lee Anne Pirus died from gunshot weeks or months before home exploded
An autopsy by the Dane County Medical Examiner shows Pirus died from homicidal firearm trauma, not injuries sustained from the blast and on Sunday Police Chief Mike Koval said at a news conference that Lee Anne Pirus had been dead for weeks or months before the explosion. Her husband is being charged with first-degree intentional homicide, arson and reckless endangerment, police said.
Chief Koval has confirmed to police that he intentionally caused a natural gas leak to explode the house. Pirus admitted to shooting his wife then blowing up their home to cover up the homicide.
The Prius family home exploded Wednesday afternoon. Fire officials found the body of 50-year-old Lee Anne Pirus among the rubble.
Investigators intend to look at financial records, talk to family members and friends, and see if there were marital issues or mental health issues.