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Zelhofer Murder

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The murder of John A Zelhofer

Source:  http://www.cybersleuths.com/news/00__2002news/01292002.2325.htm 
Mon Jan 28 2002 10:48:17

JOHN ZELHOFER, 36 - stabbed by friend
Steve Owens - ordered to stand trial
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
 -- (The Green Bay News) Lucille Zelhofer spent a delightful Christmas Eve with most of her family before returning home to watch her son bleed to death on her living room floor.
Source:  http://www.greenbaynewschron.com/page.html?article=112227 - 11 May 2003
sorry, now a dead link.

Mother recounts horrific Christmas Eve murder

Steve Owens

A Door County man has been ordered to stand trial in the case

By Joe Knaapen
For The News-Chronicle

STURGEON BAY - Lucille Zelhofer spent a delightful Christmas Eve with most of her family before returning home to watch her son bleed to death on her living room floor.

Dec. 24, 2001, started so normally that Zelhofer couldn't remember all the details of the day, such as who woke up at what time in the West Side house she shared with her 36-year-old son, John.

She remembered inviting him to the family Christmas party. She testified that he declined to accompany her because he hadn't been working and "he didn't feel right about going without any presents" for the relatives. She gave him a gift - a quilted jacket with a hood.

From about 4 p.m. until nearly 8:30 Christmas Eve, Lucille Zelhofer enjoyed the company of her other three children and their families. They shared a meal and opened presents.

When she returned home, she received a brief telephone call from John. He told her he was with a friend at a neighboring apartment building and had seen the lights go on when she returned home.

From the witness stand during a preliminary hearing Tuesday, Zelhofer said she knew the friend was Steve Owens, who was accused of stabbing her son to death during an argument. She identified Owens by pointing to him as he sat across the courtroom with his hands cuffed to a belt around his waist and ankles chained together.

Mrs. Zelhofer said she told her son that she had brought food home from the family gathering. He responded that he was hungry and would be home soon. She was preparing some of the food about 9 p.m. when she heard a rattling at the front door, which she was in the habit of locking.

She opened the door to find her son "hunched over, holding his side." He told her, "Call 911; Steve just stabbed me," Lucille Zelhofer testified.

"There was blood all over the place. He was holding his side - like this, with both hands - trying to hold the blood in," she said.

In calm words, Zelhofer described how firefighters, police officers and paramedics responded to her call for help.

The tragic outcome - that John Zelhofer died - was stated in simple terms when District Attorney Tim Funnell questioned Sturgeon Bay police officer Wendy Allen, the first official to reach the gruesome scene, and in detailed testimony by Dr. Mark Witeck, a pathologist who examined the body to determine the cause and time of death.

After the three-hour hearing, Owens was ordered to stand trial. Door County Circuit Judge Peter Diltz set a Feb. 15 hearing to schedule a trial date.


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