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No criminal charges to follow summer's fatal stabbing

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government River Falls,Wisconsin 54022
River Falls Journal
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No criminal charges to follow summer's fatal stabbing
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The man arrested, jailed and later released after the stabbing death of 22-year-old Dylan Barry July 6 in an apartment at 233 W. Cascade Ave. won't be charged with homicide.


Pierce County District Attorney John O'Boyle explained his legal decision last week by releasing a 14-page document on the stabbing and follow-up investigation. He said the case came down to the right of lawful self-defense in one's home.

In his summary, O'Boyle wrote: "The unfortunate incident that took place...was a perfect storm of events. Various individuals made poor decisions that day which contributed to the sequence of events which ultimately resulted in the stabbing death of Mr. Barry.

"Mr. Barry made several poor decisions...including entering into the homeowner's apartment in the manner in which he did.

"...The homeowner acted reasonably in the use of force based on the facts and circumstances of which were presented to him at that point in time when he stabbed Mr. Barry and Mr. Sangster as he was being attacked by them...inside his residence."

The "homeowner" in O'Boyle's report is actually tenant Codi J. Walztoni, who was 18 when the July 6 morning intrusion occurred at his apartment.

Walztoni stabbed two male intruders, including Barry, after both climbed through his apartment window.

The men were chasing Walztoni's sister as she sought refuge in her brother's apartment.

In his report, O'Boyle summarized the essence of the case:

"There is a basis to conclude that (Walztoni) reasonably believed that the force he utilized against Mr. Barry was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or others, and he, therefore, acted lawfully in self-defense when Dylan Barry was stabbed."

Further, O'Boyle noted that Wisconsin's Castle Doctrine law -- passed in December 2011 -- gives added legal protection for people in their homes to use force to keep themselves from being harmed by intruders.

Besides lawful self-defense, O'Boyle believes the Castle Doctrine would also apply in the fatal stabbing of Barry.

For the entire story including River Falls Police Chief Roger Leque's reactions, please see the Nov. 1 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

Phil Pfuehler
Phil Pfuehler has been editor of the River Falls Journal since 1991.
(715) 426-1050