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Charges filed in Ashland County homicide

Shane Cadotte (Submitted photo)

Homicide charges were filed Wednesday against two men who are accused of killing an Odanah, Wis., man last fall.

Brian M. Nelis of Odanah was arrested Thursday afternoon without incident after a police search, according to authorities.

He and Michael Dwayne Sweet, who is in prison in Green Bay, Wis., but has an Ashland mailing address, face first-degree intentional homicide charges in connection with the death of Shane Cadotte. That charge, filed in Ashland County, carries a mandatory life sentence.

Events that led to the slaying were apparently set in motion when Sweet saw Cadotte talking with Sweet's ex-girlfriend, according to court records.

Those records said:

The woman told police Sweet became angered after seeing her with Cadotte on the evening of Sept. 22. Other witnesses told police that Sweet was yelling and said Cadotte is "dead."

Sweet and Nelis next encountered Cadotte when Cadotte met with two other people to sell them drugs, court documents said. The two people took Cadotte to an isolated spot off Bear Trap Road on the Bad River Reservation. As they arrived, Nelis and Sweet pulled up in another car. Sweet allegedly punched Cadotte, and dragged him into tall grass near an abandoned shack where he and Nelis kicked and punched him, the witnesses said.

Neither of the two witnesses said they saw anyone stabbing Cadotte. Both drove away, leaving Cadotte, Nelis and Sweet.

Cadotte's body was found on Sept. 28 in a weedy area outside of two abandoned trailer homes at 53252 Bear Trap Road in the town of Sanborn.

Cadotte had been reported missing by family members several days before his body was discovered.

Brennan declared the case a homicide as soon as the body was discovered. An autopsy by a Dane County medical examiner found that Cadotte died of "homicidal violence, including multiple stab and incised wounds of the head, neck and extremities and blunt force trauma of the head.".

Nelis has a lengthy criminal record in Ashland County with previous convictions for battery, disorderly conduct, resisting or obstructing an officer, failure to pay child support, theft and criminal damage to property, according to court records.

Sweet likewise has a history of trouble. His previous charges include aggravated battery, child abuse, domestic abuse, bail jumping, disorderly conduct and more. It was not immediately clear why he is in prison.

No court proceedings have yet been scheduled.