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Bail set for police chief's brother-in-law in fatal fight

Published On: Apr 02 2013 06:49:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 02 2013 09:10:39 PM CDT
Danial D. Saalsaa
ARGYLE, Wis. -

A fight between two brothers in Lafayette County left one dead and the other facing criminal charges.

A brother-in-law of the Argyle police chief has been arrested in connection with the fight early Sunday morning.

Danial D. Saalsaa, 29, of Argyle, was arrested on a charge of second-degree reckless injury after his younger brother, Aaron D. Saalsaa, 27, also of Argyle, died Monday morning.

Sheriff's officials said the two got into a physical fight about 3:16 a.m. Sunday.
The younger Saalsaa suffered severe injuries and was taken to the Monroe Clinic Hospital. He was later transferred to a Madison hospital, where he died.

Grieving family members stood by Danial D. Saalsaa on Tuesday afternoon as he appeared upset and tearful in the Lafayette County Court for a bail hearing, at one point struggling to grab a tissue.

The brothers' sister-in-law is Argyle Police Chief Hayley Saalsaa.

"On Easter Sunday, about 4:15 in the morning, we got a call from the sheriff in Lafayette County requesting our assistance to investigate a domestic between brothers that occurred in Argyle, which is in Lafayette County," said Monroe Police Chief Fred Kelley.

The fight is believed to have started in the home on North Broad Street in Argyle and then ended up outside.

"No weapons (were) involved. It was pretty much a fistfight and wrestling match," Kelley said.

Monroe police are continuing the investigation to avoid any conflict of interest between the Lafayette County Sheriff's Office and Hayley Saalsaa.

The Lafayette County Sheriff's Office said it routinely works closely with the Argyle police chief, and Hayley Saalsaa was a witness to the fight as she had been called by family members to respond.

Once Monroe police complete their investigation, they will send a complete report to the Lafayette County District Attorney's Office.

After everything is turned in, the district attorney will determine potential charges.

Judge William Johnston set Danial Saalsaa's bail at $5,000 cash Tuesday.

"It's just a tragedy for their family. You don't expect these kinds of things just from a simple domestic argument that turns into a physical fight," Kelley said.

Lafayette County Deputy Coroner Rudy Gebhardt said preliminary tests showed Aaron Saalsaa died of diffused cerebral contusion, which means his head hit something that caused a contusion/bruise and internal bleeding.

There was no apparent skull fracture, according to Gebhardt. Toxicology results are pending.

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