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COVID-19 delays hearing for Madison homicide suspect

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 9:48 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - COVID-19 will delay a court appearance for the Madison man charged with homicide in the death of a woman whose body was not discovered for two months.

The preliminary hearing for Gregg Raether, which was scheduled for Thursday morning, has been pushed into the new year after the court learned the lead detective in the case has contracted COVID-19. A Dane Co. judge rescheduled the appearance for Jan. 13.

Rather, 56, is charged with first-degree reckless homicide, among other charges, stemming from the July killing of Patricia McCullough. The Dane Co. Medical Examiner Office determined the 55-year-old McCullough died from strangulation and blunt force trauma.

Her body was not discovered until September, at a home on Deerwood Drive, in Madison, after her daughter asked police to check on her, saying they had not spoken in a couple months and McCullough’s phone appeared to be disconnected, according to the criminal complaint.

The report also noted that her severely decomposed body was covered by several household items, including dresser drawers and shelves. Officers also described the rest of the home as being “in a state of disarray” and saw several pieces of furniture flipped over and other items damaged.

MORE: ‘I remember the day that she moved in’: Lifelong friend remembers Madison homicide victim

Raether’s girlfriend, Sherri Albrecht, is listed as a co-defendant in the investigation. She has been charged with multiple counts of unauthorized use of food stamps.

The criminal complaint alleges that the McCullough’s food stamp card was used after her death by Albrecht. Prosecutors stated Albrecht later admitted in an interview that she had used the card and gotten rid of it when they found out the victim was dead.

Albrecht was also set to appear in court Thursday and her court date was pushed back to mid-January. Court records show she posted $1,000 bond on Tuesday and was released from jail.

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