Troy Hoffman

Racine County prosecutors allege Chad Bickler, 42, was shot to death Thursday in Wind Lake when his accused murderer Troy Hoffman exploded in a violent, pistol-shooting rage sparked by jealousy over a woman.

Hoffman, 40, of New Berlin, was formally charged with first-degree intentional homicide with use of a dangerous weapon, attempted first-degree intentional homicide with use of a dangerous weapon, and felony mistreatment of an animal with use of a dangerous weapon Monday in Racine County Circuit Court.

According to the criminal complaint, Hoffman followed a woman who had been his girlfriend to a residence at 25725 W. Loomis Road in the Town of Norway Thursday evening. The woman told investigators Hoffman had recently found out her current love interest was Bickler and texted the woman that “if she was going to see (Bickler) he was going to kill (Bickler),” he complaint alleges.

Hoffman allegedly crashed his vehicle into the woman’s car as she arrived at the residence in Wind Lake and then confronted her. The woman told investigators she saw a gun in Hoffman’s hand and began to run toward West Loomis Road fearing for her life. She then saw Hoffman approach the home and begin firing shots, according to the complaint.

Once inside the home, the complaint alleges, Hoffman continued shooting – killing a dog and shooting Bickler multiple times in the torso and legs. Bickler was later pronounced dead at a hospital in Franklin from multiple gunshot wounds. Bickler was initially in the residence with his brother and another woman, but his brother left to get pizza. The woman who was at the home with Bickler fled to the upper level of the home and hid when she heard the gunshots, according to the complaint.

To read the entire complaint click here: HOFFMAN CHARGED

Court Commissioner John Bjelajac on Monday ruled there was probable cause for the charges and set cash bond for Hoffman at $750,000. Hoffman appeared in court via video feed.

A preliminary hearing in the case is set for Jan. 9.

To read a full story about the murder of Bickler and the charges against Hoffman see the Jan. 2 edition of the Burlington Standard Press or the Jan. 3 edition of the Waterford Post.