Former Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy accused of burglary, made first appearance in court

Judge requires $10,000 signature bond

A former Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy made her first appearance in court on Monday after charged with one count of felony burglary.

According to a criminal complaint, Janelle Gericke is accused of entering or attempting to enter homes of people she had reason to believe were not there. In some cases, using online obituaries to find dates and times of funeral services and going to the homes of surviving relatives during that time window.

“That charge is a class F felony and if you were convicted, it could subject you to a fine of not more than $25,000 or imprisonment for not more than 12 years (and) six months or both. Do you understand the nature of that charge and possible penalties?” Bennett Brantmeier, a Jefferson County judge, asked the defendant. Gericke said yes.

The judge is requiring a $10,000 signature bond with conditions of no contact with victims or witnesses.

The criminal complaint lists seven residences. News 3 Now was able to connect one to the home of late Lake Mills Fire Captain Chris Truman. Truman was killed last New Year’s Eve, while helping a stranded driver on the Beltline in a snowstorm.

Gericke waived her right for a preliminary hearing. She is scheduled to be back in court in February.