Plea hearing set for man accused of blowing up home to hide wife's murder

 Steven Pirus, the Madison man accused of blowing up his home to hide the murder of his wife, will be in court April 30, 2018 for a plea hearing.

Attorney's for Pirus, 59, were in Dane County Circuit Court today to schedule the hearing. Pirus did not appear in court, but remains in custody, according to only court records.

Prosecutors allege that Pirus, 59, disconnected the gas line to the dryer, which caused the explosion Sept. 13, 2017.

"The defendant admitted to loosening the gas lines in his home to the dryer and extinguishing the water heater pilot, so that the gas would keep going,"  Assistant Dane County District Attorney David Hart said during an earlier court hearing.Hart says Pirus took pains to protect his valuables.  "He packed up his things and moved them from the house to avoid the explosion of his own material."

Chief Mike Koval that Pirus shot and killed his wife, 50-year old Lee Anne Pirus, and that Lee Anne's body remained in the home at 7806 Stratton Way "for weeks, if not months" before the explosion.A probable cause affidavit states Pirus told investigators he killed his wife sometime between July 30 and Aug. 12.  Authorities say the condition of the body when found Friday did not permit investigators to pinpoint a time of death.  Hart says Pirus shot his wife in the head.

Steven Pirus is expected to face charges of first degree intentional homicide, arson and recklessly endangering safety.  

The police chief says the reckless endangerment charges were added because there were many neighbors in the area at the time of the explosion. 

"It was a hellacious explosion in a densely populated neighborhood.  We know at least two homes suffered property damage, not to mention how many people would have been home at the time," Koval says.The probable cause affidavit states Pirus told investigators his wife "...asked him to kill her."


In 2011, another fire broke out at the Pirus home at 7806 Stratton Way, this one consuming Pirus' Chevy pickup truck in flames in the home's driveway, in what Madison Department Fire officials say was an arson.Reports show the $17,000 truck was destroyed, and Pirus told investigators cameras and a gun inside the truck. A Madison Fire Department spokesperson told 27 News Wednesday those items were never found and investigators could never verify they were there.Reports state Pirus arrived home from work Nov. 19 around one a.m., and maintained there were no issues with the truck.  The fire was reported about ninety minutes later.Reports show Pirus told investigators Lee Anne Pirus had been in the home's basement two weeks prior and had heard someone outside, and called police.

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