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Brown gets $500,000 cash bond in his first La Crosse court appearance for Knox murder



A cash bond of half-a-million dollars is set for an Illinois man charged in a La Crosse murder. 

Nelson Brown of Rockford, also known as Petey, is accused of 1st-degree murder and reckless endangerment in the January 8th shooting death of Ernest Knox at a Rose Street building.  He faces six criminal charges in all.


Brown was brought to La Crosse late last week, after being arrested in Arizona just after Thanksgiving.  Prosecutor Gideon Wertheimer says a witness saw Brown very close to Knox when the shooting happened.

“He shot a man to death in cold blood from about 3 or 4 feet away,” Wertheimer told Judge Gloria Doyle at a court hearing on Monday.

Brown and Karvel Freeman both face possible life prison terms, if they’re found guilty of killing Knox.  Freeman is scheduled for trial in February.  Brown’s next court hearing will be just after Christmas. 


Wertheimer requested the $500,000 bond, noting that Brown was arrested halfway across the country, and still has a strong incentive to flee. Freeman was arrested in Tennessee back in March.

A criminal complaint also charges Brown with endangering the safety of another person at the crime scene, and with felony possession of a firearm. Police say multiple rounds were fired at Knox in a stairwell.

The judge has ordered Brown to stay away from the building where the shooting occurred, which formerly housed the Verse Bar.

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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1 Comment

  1. Kent

    December 19, 2022 at 9:14 am

    Another thug that needs to be put in a work camp the rest of his life !!!!!!!!

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