NEW INFO: Schneller Murder Suspect Held on $1 Million Cash Bond

By: WSAW Staff
By: WSAW Staff
   22-year old Raul Ponce-Rocha is being held on a $1 Million cash bond, after making his initial court appearance in Marathon County Court Wednesday.

Raul Ponce-Rocha

22-year old Raul Ponce-Rocha is being held on a $1 Million cash bond, after making his initial court appearance in Marathon County Court Wednesday. He is charged with first degree intentional homicide for the murder of 18-year old Breanna Schneller.

Judge Patrick Brady ruled the high bond was necessary, because a lower bond could allow immigration and customs to take Ponce-Rocha to be deported to Mexico, because he is an illegal immigrant.

Deputy District Attorney Theresa Merriwether says while Ponce-Rocha's immigration status will not be a factor in the case, it is when setting bond to ensure he will remain in Marathon County.

She says at this point they're still investigating a motive, and are waiting on more DNA test results, as well as search warrants to be completed.

Deputy District Attorney Merriwether says she is pleased with today's outcome.

"This is reflecting the serious nature of the charge and the possibility of life in prison," says Deputy DA Theresa Merriwether.

A preliminary hearing is set for June 15th.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon Police Chief Jeff Hardel said Ponce-Rocha was taken into custody in Dodge County on an immigration hold last Wednesday.

Schneller's body was found at her Wausau apartment May 2. Hardel says she died of multiple trauma, including stabbing. He says some knives used in the crime were recovered at the crime scene.

Hardel says other evidence was recovered from a dumpster at the El Tequila Salsa Restaurant on North Mountain Rd. in Rib Mountain, where the suspect worked. The items include Schneller's underwear, cell phone and a pair of mismatched gloves. The chief says Schneller was not sexually assaulted.

"We have other evidence, we have surveillance video that shows him leaving certain areas, and we know he was in Breanna's parking lot during that time," says Police Chief Jeff Hardel.

Chief Hardel says there was nothing at the crime scene that indicates another person was involved in the homicide. But, he says investigators have not ruled it out, either.

You can read the criminal complaint by clicking on the following links. Please note, that this complaint may contain material that is disturbing and graphic in nature.
Criminal Complaint Part 1 and Criminal Complaint Part 2

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