As two Kenosha police officers searched for the suspect of a gruesome double homicide in the pre-dawn hours Wednesday, they learned someone reported hearing a person pounding on a door on 43rd Street.
The officers walked around the house, following fresh foot tracks through the snow. When they saw a back door to the house ajar, and a second door appearing to lead to a cellar, one of the officers pulled the unlocked door open.
Jesus V. Medrano III, covered with blood, was sitting on the cellar steps, his back to the door, a machete in his right hand.
“Just kill me,” Medrano said.
The officers were able to take him into custody without incident after he listened to their orders to drop the weapon.
Medrano, 24, was formally charged Friday in Kenosha County Circuit Court with two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree sexual assault and child abuse.
He is alleged to have stabbed and hacked to death his father, Jesus Medrano Jr., 49, and his step-mother Latrice Meyers-Medrano, 36, after his parents attempted to stop him from sexually assaulting a child who lived in the home.
“This is as violent, assaultive and tragic a set of crimes that one can commit against their own family members,” Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley said Friday. “The evidence in this case is extremely strong. There is not only a confession, but multiple eye witnesses, including the traumatized children who see many of the acts that take place, and the surviving intended sexual assault victim who is going to bare these scars, obviously, for a lifetime.”
According to the criminal complaint, Medrano III lived in a home in the 900 block of 46th Street with his father and stepmother, along with a blended family that included a 15-year-old girl, a 14-year-old boy, a 10-year-old girl and Medrano III’s own 6-year-old daughter.
At about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, police received a call about a possible sex crimes.
When the first officer arrived, he found the older children, with one of the children saying Medrano III had tried to strangle her. One of the other children said their father was inside the house and had been stabbed.
Inside, the officer found “blood all over the floor and along the walls.” A small child was lying on a mattress.
A bedroom door was blocked, and after kicking it off the hinges, police found Medrano Jr. and Meyers-Medrano dead.
According to the criminal complaint, Medrano Jr. was lying in front of the door, a “huge laceration on his left shoulder” and a stab wound to his stomach. Meyers-Medrano was lying face-down on a mattress. The scene was soaked with blood.
The complaint states that Medrano III confessed to police that he had been having sexual thoughts about one of his young relatives, and went into her bedroom that night planning to sexually assault her, bringing a sock to gag her and a machete he planned to use in case his father tried to stop him.
According to the complaint, when he woke the sleeping girl she struggled, waking up another sibling that shared the room and altering Medrano Jr., who came to find out what was wrong.
At a temporary bond hearing Thursday, Graveley said that as soon as Medrano III could see that his father did not believe him when he said nothing was wrong, Medrano stabbed his father in the stomach, then struck him in the shoulder, nearly severing his arm. When his stepmother came into the room, he stabbed her as well.
Medrano III said he fled when he heard his father saying they would call police, running to the home of a relative who lived a few blocks away.
The children tried to call 911 but were not able to, so the three older children climbed out a window and went to a neighbor’s for help. That neighbor called 911.
‘Violent and vicious’
Medrano III’s bond was set at $2.5 million, Kenosha County Court Commissioner Larry Keating calling the allegations “extremely violent and vicious.”
He remained silent at the hearing, his head down, wearing an anti-suicide vest.
In an online fundraiser aimed at paying for funeral expenses, Medrano Jr.’s family said he was a caring father. “With his last breath he tried to save and protect the most important things in his life, his children and grandchild,” they state.
Medrano III is next expected in court for a preliminary hearing Jan. 15.