- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 3, 2015

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) - A western Wisconsin man struck his girlfriend in the head with a hammer before slicing her neck with a box cutter, then texted a picture of the woman’s body to another man, according to charges filed Tuesday.

The criminal complaint filed in La Crosse County Circuit Court charged Bryce Anderson, 29, of Holmen, with first-degree intentional homicide, and said he suspected his girlfriend, Kristen Johnson, of having an affair. The man who received the photo of the woman’s body, which was sent from her cell phone, also got a message “to the effect of ‘This is what happens when you are a liar,’” the complaint said.

WXOW-TV reported that police found the woman’s body at the couple’s home Monday night after officers were sent to check on Anderson’s welfare. A Holmen police officer who reached Anderson by phone said Anderson made suicidal comments as well as comments about killing someone, the complaint said.

When police entered the home, they found a large pool of blood in a bedroom along with a hammer and box cutter. They found Johnson’s body covered with a blanket and carpeting in the back of a vehicle in the garage, the complaint said. Police saw a belt around her neck and head injuries.

Investigators also found a letter in the home signed by Anderson saying that he had confronted her about his belief that she was having an affair. The complaint said he wrote that he put a belt around her neck, then she swung a hammer at him during the struggle Sunday morning. The letter said he took the hammer and struck her with it several times, then cut her throat.

Anderson then drove with his two boys to see his mother in Beloit, the complaint said, then bought a shotgun and shells in Monday.

Anderson was captured Tuesday morning in Iowa after his car slid into a ditch near Onslow, according to the sheriff’s office. He called 911 ad stayed on the phone with dispatchers until he was arrested without incident.

Johnson ended their turbulent relationship last week and Anderson planned to move out of the house this week, said Harley Large, who described herself as a close friend to Johnson.

“She wasn’t happy and neither was he,” Large told the La Crosse Tribune. “But I would never have imagined him doing this to her.”

It wasn’t immediately clear when Anderson would be extradited to Wisconsin. Online court records didn’t list a defense attorney who could be contacted for comment.

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Information from: WXOW-TV, https://www.wxow.com

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