A University of Wisconsin student has been charged with the first triple homicide to occur in Dane County in more than three decades.
Meng-Ju “Mark” Wu, 19, an international student from Taiwan and student at UW, is charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and is currently awaiting extradition to Madison from New York.
Wu’s extradition hearing was pushed back from Aug. 5, pending some technicalities and paperwork. Dane County is now seeking a governor’s warrant to ensure Wu’s return to Wisconsin.
Police speculated that Wu committed the June 26 shooting of three roommates in a Verona duplex due to gambling debts incurred during Wu’s relationship with one of the roommates.
John Lucas, spokesman for UW administration, said Wu is still registered for the fall semester.
“We let the judicial system take its course before we pass any judgment,” Lucas said. “Hypothetically, if a student in this case would be able to make it in time for classes, it would be likely that the Dean of Students office would order an investigation on whether he is a danger to other students and rule accordingly.”
Walter Dickey, a UW law professor, said he had no doubt that Wu would be successfully extradited to Dane County, although there is a lot of paperwork that can tie up extradition hearings as well as many other technical requirements that might hold up the process.
Wu lost $15,000 from gambling between April and June and withdrew $72,000 from his bank account between December and June.
The roommates of the Verona residence, Jason McGuigan, 28, Dustin Wilson, 17, and Daniel Swanson, 25, lived at 305 S. Main St., just south of the city’s downtown.
McGuigan’s upstairs neighbor heard a loud banging and what sounded like someone walking loudly downstairs the morning of June 26 around 2:30 a.m.
Around 3 p.m. that afternoon, McGuigan’s aunt dropped off some mail for her nephew and discovered the bodies of McGuigan and his roommates.
McGuigan had bought a Glock handgun from a Sun Prairie dealer on June 6, fearing his new $60,000 Cadillac Escalade SUV would be the target of carjacking. Police believe the gun to be the murder weapon.
After June 28, Wu was returned to Madison on a material-witness warrant. Wu was scheduled to leave for his parents’ home in Taiwan June 1, and authorities seized his drivers’ license and passport to ensure he would not leave the country.
Under conditions of a material-witness warrant, Wu could not be arrested in Madison and was returned to New York.
The case for McGuigan’s gun, but not the weapon itself, was recovered from a different dumpster near Wu’s downtown apartment June 1.
DNA tests proved July 3 that the blood on a sandal found near Wu’s apartment belonged to Wilson.
The FBI, New York Port Authority, and New York Police Department arrested Wu July 6.
“Hopefully, we’ll have [Wu] back in Wisconsin by the end of September,” Verona police chief Bernie Coughlin said.
Wu’s arrest comes out of effective police work from 11 law-enforcement agencies and the FBI. The police said McGuigan’s two roommates were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.