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Kinstler charged with reckless homicide, accused of using victim’s walking stick to hit him

Brad Williams

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Investigators say a 79-year-old La Crosse man died after being hit in the head with his own walking stick by a second man during an argument. 

Kinstler

An autopsy determined that Russell Paulson died of blunt force head trauma, three days after being injured during an argument with 50-year-old Matthew Kinstler. 

The DA’s office has charged Kinstler with 1st-degree reckless homicide. 

Kinstler claims his car was hit by Paulson on May 1st, as the older man was trying to park outside Menards on Lang Drive. 

Kinstler has told police that Paulson swung at him with the walking stick and may have hit himself accidentally before falling down. 

But witnesses to the fight say Kinstler pushed Paulson to the ground, and then picked up the stick and hit the victim.     

Kinstler denied hitting Paulson or holding the stick. 

An autopsy said Paulson received two or more blows to the head, and ruled his death a homicide.  

If he’s convicted, Kinstler could be sentenced to 60 years in prison, and he remains in the county jail with cash bond set at $100,000.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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