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Names of dead in town of Sun Prairie murder-suicide released

Names of dead in town of Sun Prairie murder-suicide released

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The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office has released the name of a woman and the man who shot her to death on Dec. 28 before turning the gun on himself.

Jessica L. Ewers, 44, and James T. Budworth, 45, were found dead after police were called to the home they shared in the 4600 block of Pierceville Road, just north of Cottage Grove, about 3:20 p.m. Budworth had been charged two months before with beating Ewers and had been free on a signature bond, meaning he didn’t have to post cash to be released.

Court records show he was charged on Oct. 23 with felony strangulation and suffocation, two counts of misdemeanor battery, one misdemeanor count of criminal damage to property and one misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.

According to a probable cause statement and criminal complaint in the case, Ewers told police Budworth was an alcoholic who had been drinking and taking human growth hormones and testosterone prior to attacking her, unprovoked, on the morning of Oct. 19. She also said Budworth had regularly threatened to kill her and had about 20 guns at the house.

As part of his release, Budworth was barred from having any contact with Ewers or from going to the Pierceville Road home, and was to maintain complete sobriety and not possess firearms.

On Dec. 18, Budworth filed suit to evict Ewers from the home, according to court records, after having served her with a 28-notice to vacate on Oct. 31. The criminal complaint says Ewers told police she and Budworth had been living together there for about three years. County property records list Budworth as the home’s owner.

The deaths remain under investigation by the Sheriff’s and Medical Examiner’s offices.

State Journal reporter Ed Treleven contributed to this report.


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