Grand jury indicts Winthrop farmer on 1st-degree murder charges

A grand jury has indicted a Winthrop man on first-degree murder charges. 

Travis Joel Bauer, 46, is accused of killing Dennis Weitzenkamp, a 76-year-old Winthrop farmer.  Weitzenkamp was shot in the back of the as he sat in a chair and shucked corn at his farm.

Police said Bauer, who called 911 to report finding Weitzenkamp dead, gave inaccurate accounts of his whereabouts that day. Investigators say Bauer was in serious financial peril and knew he would receive a significant financial benefit from Weitzenkamp’s death.  Bauer had farmed with Weitzenkamp for years and was considered part of the family.

Bauer was charged in March with second-degree murder, but a grand jury is required for a 1st-degree murder charge.

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