Lafayette County district attorney clears officers in death of man they tried to arrest

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Following a state investigation into the death of a man police were trying to arrest in Shullsburg in February, the Lafayette County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday said it has cleared the officers involved of any criminal liability, although authorities aren't saying how the man died.

Gregg A. Marcotte, who authorities say was either 44 or 45, died after being tasered twice by a Darlington Police Department officer shortly after 1 a.m. on Feb. 12. Lafayette County Sheriff's deputies and Darlington police had been called to the scene because Marcotte was wandering nude and acting erratically in the middle of Water Street, according to the state Department of Justice, which investigated the incident.

The DOJ reports that the Taser had no effect on Marcotte, who walked toward the officers and made contact with at least one of them, and that sometime during the interaction, Marcotte allegedly said, “I’m glad I am on drugs; I couldn’t handle your (expletive) if I wasn’t.”

Marcotte resisted arrest and either fell or was taken to the ground by police, according to the DOJ. He was then handcuffed and when rolled on his side was not responsive.

Police and emergency medical technicians attempted lifesaving measures before he was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

District Attorney Jenna Gill said “the action of law enforcement officers on Feb. 12, 2024, were lawful and reasonable acts of defense of self and others," according to a news release provided by Sheriff Reg Gill's office. Jenna Gill and Reg Gill did not respond to messages Tuesday seeking to know if they are related. A person who answered the phone at Jenna Gill's office said they are not related by blood but declined to comment further.

The exact cause of Marcotte's death is redacted from documents released in the investigation. The cause is contained in the report of Marcotte's autopsy, according to an unsigned email from the DOJ's Communications Office, but the DOJ's Office of Open Government "does not release private medical records" and "the autopsy report is considered a medical record."

Marcotte did not have a criminal record in Wisconsin, according to online state court records, although he was arrested in 2014 with another man for allegedly setting a fire in a ditch near Shullsburg to dispose of what police described as methamphetamine waste.

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