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Onalaska woman’s bond will not be lowered, as she awaits trial for 6-year-old boy’s death



Murder suspect Josie Dikeman sits in La Crosse County court awaiting a hearing on Oct. 24, 2023 (PHOTO: Brad Williams).

Bond will remain $250,000 for an Onalaska woman charged with homicide in the abuse-related death of a 6-year-old boy who was in her care.

Josie Dikeman and her attorney appear before Judge Elliott Levine in La Crosse County Court on Oct. 24, 2023 (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

Josie Dikeman’s request for a bond reduction was turned down Tuesday by La Crosse County Judge Elliott Levine.

The 31-year-old faces a first-degree murder charge in the February death of Alexavier Pedrin, who reportedly died from blunt force trauma.

Defense attorney Christopher Zachar argued in court Tuesday that Dikeman cannot afford to post the six-figure bond, which was reduced from $1 million at a previous hearing.

Zachar said that being poor does not mean Dikeman should be behind bars.

He said Dikeman did not try to flee the area, between the time Alexavier died and when she was arrested weeks later.

The defense also argued that Dikeman is dealing with life-long brain injuries resulting from physical violence, and asked that she be released to Ophelia House while the case is in court.

La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke said Dikeman has not been refused medical care. Gruenke added that other children reportedly have been abused or neglected while in Dikeman’s care. He suggested the defendant may be manipulating others to get sympathy.

Posters reacting to the abuse death of 6-year-old Alexavier Pedrin are displayed near the La Crosse Courthouse on May 30, 2023. (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

Levine said the possibility that Dikeman could flee or attempt to influence witnesses in the case, indicates that the $250,000 bond is “very reasonable,” and that it will not be changed.

Several spectators interested in the case attended Dikeman’s bond hearing, as they have done on previous court dates.

Dikeman entered pleas of not guilty to three felony charges at a court appearance in June. No trial date has been set. Her case will be reviewed again by the judge at a January hearing.

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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