Former sheriff's deputy accused of burglary pleads not guilty

Janelle Gericke
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JEFFERSON, Wis. (WMTV) -- A former Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy accused of breaking into the homes of grieving people who were away attending funerals pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.

According to a criminal compliant, Janelle Gericke, 29, preyed upon people who had been listed as relatives of the deceased in local obituaries and snuck into their homes while they attended funerals.

The complaint states one of the victims was the family of fallen Lake Mills fire captain Chris Truman.

On Thursday in Jefferson County Court, Gericke stood mute and entered a plea of not guilty to a single felony count of burglary.

Prosecutors say Gericke in total tried or did break into seven homes in Jefferson County, Lake Mills, Fort Atkinson and Watertown. Four of the break-ins happened while the families attended funerals.

Gericke worked for Jefferson County Sheriff's Office since February of 2016, and was a deputy assigned to the Jail Division. She was fired on July 3, 2019.

Gericke will be back in court on April 16th.