Steven Pirus, the Madison man accused of blowing up his home to hide the murder of his wife, pleaded guilty today to first-degree intentional homicide in her death.
The guilty plea carries a sentence of life in prison. The remainder of the counts were dismissed, but entered into the record.
When asked by Judge Nicholas McNamara if he understood that a guilty plea means he murdered his wife, Pirus said that he did.
Prosecutors say Pirus, 59, disconnected the gas line to the dryer, which caused the explosion Sept. 13, 2017. They say he was attempting to hide the murder of his wife, Lee Anne, 50, whose body could have been in the home at 7806 Stratton Way "for weeks, if not months," according to Madison Police Chief Mike Koval.
"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.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. Investigators say Pirus shot his wife in the head.
He is facing charges of first degree intentional homicide, arson and recklessly endangering safety.
Koval said 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."
For more information go to WKOW: http://www.wkow.com/story/38076546/2018/04/30/prius-expected-to-enter-guilty-pleas