Madison man pleads not guilty to homicide of woman found two months after death

Gregg Raether appears in a Dane Co. courtroom on Dec. 30, 2021.
Gregg Raether appears in a Dane Co. courtroom on Dec. 30, 2021.(WMTV/Jeremy Nichols)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 9:11 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A Madison man accused of killing a woman, whose body police say they discovered two months after the alleged homicide, appeared in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing and arraignment.

Attorneys entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Gregg Raether, 56, who is charged with alleged first degree reckless homicide, possessing a firearm as a convicted felon and unauthorized use of food stamps. He is also charged with two misdemeanor counts of unauthorized use of food stamps.

Raether’s charges stem from the July 2021 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.

Madison Police Department detective Joseph Buccellato described to the courtroom what police found when they responded to the home last September. When officers arrived, they said the house was “in a state of disarray” and noticed a calendar showing the wrong month.

The criminal complaint also noted that the victim’s decomposed body was covered by several household items, including dresser drawers and shelves. Officers also saw several pieces of furniture flipped over and other items damaged.

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 and pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday.

The preliminary hearing for Raether was originally scheduled for Dec. 30, 2021, but was pushed back after the court learned the lead detective in the case had contracted COVID-19.

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