Judge sets $1M cash bond for suspect in Blue Mounds homicide

MADISON, Wis. — A judge set a $1 million cash bond Monday for the 21-year-old accused of killing a man who was running in Blue Mounds.

Riley Berg was arrested Thursday night and faces a first-degree intentional homicide charge for the death of Nicholas Day.

Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney called the murder “cold, calculated and extremely violent.”

“This is an extremely violent crime where the victim was first shot at from a distance and then his throat was slit. We have DNA evidence of the victim in the defendant’s vehicle and to our knowledge there is no connection between the victim and the defendant at this time outside of this crime,” said Dane County Assistant District Attorney Andrea Raymond.

The court agreed with Raymond that the severity of the crime and the possibility of a mandatory life sentence if convicted could cause Berg to run.

A criminal complaint revealed how detectives figured out Berg was their suspect.

Berg’s car was seen on surveillance footage at Tyrol Basin on the day of the murder. He drove into the parking lot, then left a minute later.

Detectives created a timeline using surveillance video from the Mount Horeb library, local shops and a gas station to determine that Berg’s car drove by the homicide location at County Highway JG right around the time Day was killed.

When originally asked by detectives, Berg denied being at Tyrol Basin that day.

Berg’s father told detectives Berg hunts every day and has access to firearms and knives when hunting.

His father also told the Dane County Sheriff’s Office that Berg was diagnosed with schizophrenia and is medicated. Court records from 2017 show his father also told police he was hospitalized because of his mental health. 

Berg told deputies he didn’t know Day.

“Riley Berg’s motives for this homicide are still unclear. We have found no known connection between Nicholas Day and Riley Berg,” said Mahoney.