Fitchburg man dies after baseball bat beating

Suspect being held on $1 million bail
Fitchburg man dies after baseball bat beating

A Fitchburg man has died after being beaten with a baseball bat in Mount Horeb.

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office said 20-year-old Ryan M. Smith died Saturday morning at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.

Smith suffered skull fractures and lung injuries in the beating early last Tuesday. Authorities have said drugs may have played a role in the violence.

Authorities are holding Koalton Peterson, 18, on suspicion of attempted first-degree intentional homicide. Peterson’s bail was set Friday at $1 million, but Assistant District Attorney Rachel Sattler delayed formally charging him Friday, saying the charge likely would be upgraded to homicide.

Peterson has claimed self-defense, and has another hearing set for this coming Tuesday.

To help cover expenses related to his injuries, a fund has been set up at Summit Credit Union.

Donations can be sent to:

Ryan M. Smith Medical Fund
Summit Credit Union
2939 South Fish Hatchery Road
Fitchburg, WI 53711