One charge of second degree intentional homicide was filed against Melanie R. Kuula in Barron County Circuit Court today.

Kuula, 44, is reported to have approached a man on the street around 4:23 p.m. on Aug. 10 and state she had stabbed her boyfriend.

The man called police.

According to the criminal complaint, the man told police Kuula had come to his door as he was getting ready for work. He found the boyfriend lying in the back yard and believed him to be deceased. The caller stated that Kuula was full of blood and walking around the block. 

Authorities found Brett M. Bents, 50, deceased and with a large pool of blood underneath him.

Kuula was arrested in the commons area of a boarding house, after she had just showered but not yet dressed, according to the complaint.

Court filings show Kuula and Bents had shared the address of 206 Soo Ave. E, Apt. 2 in Almena since at least Jan. 15.

Witnesses told police that after the stabbing, they had heard Kuula say she had caught her boyfriend engaged in a sexual act with another woman in their apartment. 

The complaint states police located a bent frying pan and the wooden handle from a kitchen spatula that were covered with blood and what appeared to be soft tissue in apartment #2. A serrated kitchen knife, bent and with blood on it, was located in the entryway.

The medical examiner found a single stab wound that perforated Bents’ heart, along with multiple blunt force traumas to his head and face, consistent with being struck with the frying pan and wooden handle, the complaint states.

A cash bond of $25,000 was set in Barron County Circuit Court on Aug. 14, and a preliminary hearing was set for October. 

Kuula had initially been listed as being held on a probation violation. 

In January, Kuula pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and bail jumping in Barron County Circuit Court and was sentenced to 18 months probation.

Kuula pleaded no contest in June 2017 to disorderly conduct in Rusk County.

Records show Bents had pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct misdemeanors in Barron County in June of last year and in September 2017 in Rusk County. Bents pleaded no contest in April 2015 to felony OWI.

Both Kuula and Bents had at least one court ordered no contact with the other requirement as part of a bond stipulation.

It is unclear if a current no contact stipulation was in place for either subject at the time of the stabbing.

A press release from the Turtle Lake Police Department said the agency is being assisted in its investigation by the Barron County Sheriff’s Department, Wisconsin State Patrol and the County medical examiner.


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