DA: Man got into argument with Wausau murder victim before death - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

DA: Man got into argument with Wausau murder victim before death, held on $750,000 bond


An Aurora man charged in a domestic violence case got in an argument with a 77-year-old man found dead in his garage in Wausau days before his death, according to court records filed in Marathon County.

Lee Franck, 56, has been charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, involving domestic abuse. A judge ordered he be held on a $750,000 bond Thursday. Franck is considered a "person of interest" in the murder of Lyle Leith, according to Wausau Police Department.

"Mr. Leith's daughter and Mr. Franck were in a relationship together which my understanding is, ended within days of Mr. Leith's homicide," Capt. Matthew Barnes of the Wausau Police Department said. 

Wausau Police say Franck was arrested Wednesday in Florence County. Officials say he resisted and it took a great deal of force to take him into custody.

"Our staff and those SWAT teams from the northern counties spent numerous hours at Mr. Franck's house trying to negotiate his surrender from inside his barricaded residence," Barnes said. "Ultimately it required the use of force and tactical equipment to be able to gain entry into Mr. Franck's house to take him into custody."

The complaint filed Wednesday said Franck and Leith had a disagreement about Franck's relationship with Leith's daughter. Leith's daughter told authorities Franck said things like, “you will all pay” and “I hope your family dies” in that fight that took place over the weekend.

"Mr. Franck was identified as an individual that was very upset with that family at the time and upon those interviews and learning about the domestic altercation and incident involving Mr. Franck definitely identified him as a person of interest in this homicide investigation," Barnes said. 

Police have said Leith's body was found by his daughter Tuesday morning.

"DNA processing and fingerprint processing and the science associated with it is a process and it doesn't happen within days, it will take us some time to get definitive answers about items of evidence," Barnes said. 

Leith's daughter and Franck were dating and they had been living together for a number of weeks.

Wausau Police have not named any suspects or cause of death in the murder investigation.

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