WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI (WSAU) - The man charged with murdering a Wisconsin Rapids man five years ago confessed to another jail inmate that he committed the crime. 53-year-old Joseph B. Reinwand is in prison for theft and burglary charges already. He’s accused of killing his daughter’s ex-boyfriend, 35-year-old Dale R. Meister.
Meister was found seated on his couch with multiple bullet wounds in the head and chest March 4th, 2008. Officials believe he died between February 28th and March 4th.
During an April 11th, 2008 interview with a detective, Reinwand was confronted with the knowledge of thirteen people who had conversations with the victim saying he was afraid to seek custody of his 2-year-old daughter because he thought Reinwand would kill him. The detective said, “You, you don’t want to hear it but what does that tell you? What does that tell you, Joe?” Reinwand responded, “That I killed him. There’s... I don’t think I’m really arguing about that.”
In June of 2009, Reinwand told a Wood County Jail inmate he went to Meister’s home and started choking him and then he shot him, claiming Meister was assaulting kids in the neighborhood. The inmate quotes Reinwand as saying, “I took care of it. I’d rather be in here than have him on the street.” The jail informant says Reinwand reenacted the shooting to him, suggesting that he shot Meister at close range in the chest.
A review of court records shows no charges against Meister related to assaulting children. Meister was found guilty of carrying a concealed weapon in January of 2005, three years before his death and two years before his daughter was born. The criminal complaint is not clear about when Meister began to believe Reinwand may try to kill him.
Prosecutors continued to take witness testimony during a John Doe hearing at various dates between April 2012 and this month. It’s because of evidence gathered in this hearing that prosecutors believe they now have a solid case against Reinwand after five years of investigating.