Man accused in deadly shooting of roommate to be released from jail

Doyle Jay Reifert
Courtesy of the Dane County Jail

MADISON, Wis. — The man accused of shooting and killing another man at a home on Madison’s west side earlier this week will be released from jail Wednesday afternoon, as Dane County district attorney Ismael Ozanne says he believes the Castle Doctrine may apply to the case.

59-year-old Doyle Jay Reifert will not be charged Wednesday and will be released from the Dane County Jail, according to a media release from Ozanne.

RELATED: Man suspected in Harley Drive homicide booked into Dane County Jail

“Based on the investigation by the City of Madison Police Department since the incident was reported, I believe the portion of Wisconsin’s self-defense statute contained in Wis. Stat. § 939.48(1m) [commonly referred to as the Castle Doctrine] likely applies in this case,” Ozanne wrote.

Ozanne says the evidence available to this point in the investigation indicates Reifert was inside his rented room inside the house on Harley Drive when the person who was killed tried to get his way into Reifert’s room. Ozanne says the man allegedly refused to leave the room and took an aggressive stance before Reifert shot him.

The home’s landlord says the man Reifert shot was one of his roommates in the house.

“Because I have concluded that Wis. Stat. §939.48(1m) applies to this situation, the law does not permit me to consider whether Mr. Reifert had an ability to flee or retreat from this situation and I am required to presume that Mr. Reifert reasonably believed the force used was necessary,” Ozanne wrote.

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Ozanne says there are still many questions left to be answered, but he is asking the Sheriff’s Office to release Reifert from jail because he does not want to pursue charges unless he can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

“This is not a final decision on whether Mr. Reifert will face charges but I believe this is the correct decision at this time,” Ozanne said. “My decision today is a limited decision based on the facts currently known to me and does not apply outside of the unique circumstances of this case.”

Reifert was booked into the Dane County Jail on Tuesday morning after being arrested by Madison police on tentative charges of first-degree intentional homicide.