Wisconsin man, 25, is charged with bludgeoning to death his sex offender grandfather, 70, with a hammer to the face over 1991 crime that happened before he was born
- Bryan Luitze II, 25, charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the beating death of his grandfather, Charles Luitze, 70, in August
- Bryan is accused of bludgeoning Charles in the face with a hammer inside his home in Racine, Wisconsin
- Friends and family said Bryan was angry with his estranged grandfather over his 1991 conviction for sexual assault of a child and talked about ‘taking him out’
- Bryan was not the victim of his grandfather’s crime, having been born after his conviction
- Relative quoted Bryan as telling him that he could not forgive his grandfather for what he had done
- Prosecutor said days before the killing, Bryan went by his grandfather’s home, pretending to be a Census worker
Bryan Luitze II, 25, has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the beating death of his grandfather, Charles Luitze, 70, in August
Bryan Luitze II, 25, has been held in jail for a probation violation since mid-August, and on Friday he was charged with first-degree intentional homicide stemming from his grandfather’s brutal killing.
According to a criminal complaint cited by Kenosha News, on August 15, Luitze went to the home of his grandfather, Charles Luitze, 70, in Racine and killed him with hammer blows to the face.
The grisly scene was discovered by the victim’s neighbor, who came looking for him after she was unable to reach him by phone.
Deputies who were summoned to the home on Sheridan Road found the victim laying dead on his bed, with the hammer used in the killing still lodged in the center of his crushed face. The walls of the bedroom were splattered with blood.
Charles Luitze was found with a hammer embedded in the middle of his face inside his blood-splattered bedroom in Racine, Wisconsin (pictured)
Prosecutor Andrew Bergoyne described the killing as ‘particularly chilling’ in court on Friday.
The complaint alleges that prior to the killing, Bryan spoke to an unnamed relative about his grandfather’s past involving sexual crimes against a child, saying that he ‘could not forgive someone like that’ and talking about ‘taking him out.’
The relative was quoted as telling Bryan: ‘Jesus, he paid his debt to society and it has been a long time… It’s been a long time and it’s over.’
Charles was convicted in March 1991 of first-degree sexual assault of a child and was a registered sex offender.
His grandson was not the victim of that crime, having been born after his grandfather’s conviction, and he had not seen his grandfather from the time he was a young boy.
But according to police interviews with Bryan’s family and friends, his estranged grandfather’s dark past upset and angered him, and he expressed hatred for Charles.
Friends and family said Bryan was angry with his estranged grandfather over his 1991 conviction for sexual assault of a child and talked about ‘taking him out’
According to the complaint, several days prior to the deadly hammer attack, Bryan went by his grandfather’s home, pretending to be a US Census worker.
Charles did not recognize his grandson, but the encounter with the bogus Census worker who had no identification on him left him shaken and fearful, according to the victim’s friend
During the hearing on Friday, the prosecutor cited physical evidence connecting Bryan to the murder, including a backpack that was found at the suspect’s home that was stained with his grandfather’s blood.
Bryan’s defense attorney argued that the case against her client was not as strong as the prosecution was making it out to be, noting that several people had access to the backpack, ‘including others that had motive here.’
She also raised questions about purported inconsistencies about the timeline of when Charles was last seen alive.
Luitze was being held in jail on $1million bond. He was due back in court for a preliminary hearing later on Monday.
Charles Luitze’s obituary described the retired US Marine as a ‘beloved friend to many’ who was an avid gardener and an active member of his church ‘who wrote and composed private songs celebrating salvation and his Lord.’