MADISON, Wis. - The men accused of robbing a Culver’s in Madison, where a man died minutes later, are also accused in a string of nighttime robberies at area businesses over the course of nine weeks.
A criminal complaint filed Monday said the blood from the scene matched one of the men accused in the deadly robbery at a Madison fast-food restaurant last month.
The complaint against Xavier V. Fleming, 25, of Madison, and Nicholas A. Ivy, 32, of Middleton, included new details about the robbery June 27 at the Culver's at 2102 West Beltline Highway where officials said a man died from a heart attack.
Fleming and Ivy were both in Dane County court Monday for initial appearances on charges related to the robbery at Culver's and three other area robberies.
A cash bond was set at $1 million each for Fleming and Ivy, according to online court records.
Christ Kneubuehl, 56, of Kenosha, went into physical distress during the robbery at Culver's and died shortly after the robbers fled with money from the safe.
Kneubuehl and three other men were at the Culver's working on an overnight floor tiling project, police said. The store was not open, but the robbers were able to get inside with Kneubuehl, who had been outside taking equipment outside to a truck, at gunpoint.
The two robbers found the business' safe but were having trouble getting inside. The complaint said Kneubuehl used a grinder tool from his work truck to cut a hole into the safe, and the robbers began loading bags with cash from inside.
The victims told police that when Kneubuehl returned from operating the grinder on the safe, he was having trouble breathing.
As the robbers were unloading the safe, one of the three victims told the robbers Kneubuel had a heart condition and that he needed an ambulance, but the robber told them, “Dude is gonna have to wait,” according to the complaint. The complaint said one of the robbers told the other they had to go, and noted that Kneubuel was unconscious, and the other replied that he is “getting this money.”
One of the victims estimated that five minutes passed between when Kneubuehl began showing signs of distress and when the suspects finally gave up on the coins and left. When he called 911, he was still scared, so he didn't initially mention the robbery to the operator, the victim told police.
Ivy and Fleming told police they were told multiple times that Kneubuehl might be having a heart attack. But Ivy also claimed he asked the victims including Kneubuehl, said were told they were fine.
The victims told police that while Kneubuehl was in distress, they overheard one of the robbers tell the other that he wanted to leave and to stop being greedy.
According to the complaint, the forensic pathologist who performed Kneubuehl’s autopsy said she “considered it very likely that his heart attack was induced by the stress created by the actions of the suspect,” and that if Kneubuehl had received help at the first sign of distress, he likely would have survived.
Complaint: Blood at scene matched suspect
According to the criminal complaint, one of the robbers cut his arm on the safe and was bleeding. The criminal complaint said the robbers were worried about fingerprints and blood at the scene. They used chemicals to attempt to clean the scene.
Blood collected from the scene matched Ivy in a police database, the complaint said. Ivy was arrested June 30 in Janesville.
Suspect called himself 'Robin Hood'
According to the complaint, Ivy told police that two of the four men had cooperated with them in exchange for money. Ivy also claimed that Kneubuehl could have run away multiple times when he had to get items from the truck outside.
Police said a plastic bag of money was found in the crew’s truck, the complaint said.
The complaint said the robbers might have left the money in the crew’s truck “to fulfill their delusions about playing Robin Hood and to make at least Suspect 1 feel better about what they put the crew through.”
The Culver’s manager said there was more than $4,000 in the safe.
Ivy said the gun used in all the robberies was fake.
String of robberies over 9 weeks
According to the complaint, Fleming and Ivy are also accused in three other robberies: the first at the Oakcrest Tavern on Old Middleton Road April 25 at 1:15 a.m., another at Subway on South Park Street May 16 at about 11 p.m., and another at Taco John's on Monona Drive in Monona June 8 at about 11:10 p.m.
About $500 was stolen from Oakcrest Tavern, about $2,000 from Subway and more than $1,000 from Taco John's, according to the complaint.
Fleming faces 11 counts, including two counts of false imprisonment, four counts of armed robbery, four counts of bail jumping and one count of felony murder in an armed robbery.
Ivy is facing seven counts, including two counts of false imprisonment, four counts of armed robbery and one count of felony murder in an armed robbery.
Ivy and Fleming each have a preliminary hearing scheduled at 2:15 p.m. July 25 in Dane County court.
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