Attempted murder trial begins in Crawford County

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The trial began Tuesday morning in Crawford County Circuit Court for a Dubuque man charged with attempted first degree intentional homicide in the severe beating of another Dubuque man at the Rock on the River music festival in the town of Bridgeport in July of 2013.

Anthony W. Runde, 36, is also charged with aggravated battery. Runde faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted of both counts.

The trial continued at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Oct. 11.

Joshua W. Milligan, 32, sustained severe brain injury as a result of the alleged altercation on July 13, 2013.

According to the criminal complaint, the assault happened near the campground portable toilets on the Rock on the River grounds.

A lieutenant with the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department was informed that Joshua Milligan was discovered on the festival grounds lying sprawled out on the ground and unconscious, the complaint said.

A security guard who had been hired to work at the festival said he was driving his truck on the grounds when he saw two men running. He then saw the unconscious man on the ground. Another man then approached screaming, “Josh, Josh.” The man told the security guard, “I knew I shouldn’t have left him alone, they f...... got him.” The man continued to rant about “steroid freaks.”

The security guard noticed blood on the ground in front of the face of the unconscious man and that his nose was dripping blood and he had blood by his lips. The security guard described one of the men running from the scene as “big,” at least 6’4” or 6’5” and close to 300 pounds and muscular. He said the other man looked big too, but he didn’t get a good look at him.

The unconscious man, Joshua Milligan, was taken to Prairie du Chien Memorial Hospital with serious and life threatening injuries. He was later taken by Med-Link to Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse, the complaint said.
Milligan’s girlfriend told the lieutenant she saw Runde making gestures and saying things to Milligan in an attempt to provoke a fight.

Medical staff at the hospital told the lieutenant Milligan had suffered major head injuries and was in a coma.

On June 8, 2016, a special agent with the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation spoke with Milligan and noticed Milligan requires a walker to move about and has an obvious speech impediment. Milligan requires assistance to walk with both a walker and a person to hold on to a gait belt. It was also noted that he has impairment to his vision, sense of smell, lacks the ability to sense hot and cold, is incontinent, and suffers from significant cognitive impairments.

Two witnesses at Rock on the River said they saw Runde on top of Milligan, beating him with their fists. When Runde got up and walked away, Milligan remained motionless, one witness said, according to the complaint.

Another person interviewed by investigators said Runde and Milligan used to be close friends but the friendship ended after Runde heard Milligan had an affair with Runde’s wife during a separation. The person interviewed said Runde was intent on revenge and heard him say he was going to “kill him” or “finish him.”

On Sept. 14, 2016, the Dubuque Police Department apprehended Runde. Runde was later transported to the Crawford County Jail.

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