Wednesday, 22 April 2015 17:00

WI Repair Shop Owner Charged with First Degree Murder After Stabbing 23-Year-Old

Two suspects have been charged in the stabbing death of a man whose body was found floating in Lake Mendota.

Rudy Alberto Ramirez-Milan, 37, of Waunakee, admitted to investigators that he stabbed 23-year-old Jacob D. Payne on the evening of April 7 after Payne pulled a knife on him when he asked him to leave his auto repair shop in the 4000 block of Acker Road in the Town of Burke.

Mug shot of repair shop owner, Rudy Alberto Ramirez-Milan, who was one of two men charged with first degree intentional homicide in the murder of Jacob D. Payne.

Jennifer Fetterly


The two men struggled before Ramirez-Milan stabbed Payne in the left shoulder numerous times, before a third man, Juan Aguilar-Vargas, 27, of Madison, grabbed a second knife and stabbed the victim in the throat, according to a statement Ramirez-Milan made to investigators.

Authorities said the two men then used Ramirez-Milan’s gray Ford F-150 pick-up truck to take the body to Lake Mendota, where they weighed it down with a chain and steel I-beam. A canoeist discovered Payne’s body 30 yards off the shore of Governor’s Island on April 11 in the afternoon.

After dumping the body in the lake, investigators said the suspects returned to the Acker Road property to clean up and dispose of the two knives used in the homicide as well as Payne’s cell phone and wallet.

Ramirez-Milan and Aguilar-Vargas were charged April 21 in Dane County Court with first degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse, facing life imprisonment if convicted.

Three other suspects -- Saul R. Garcia-Rosario, 35, Elmer O. Ramirez-Milan, 37, and Erlin Y. Vargas, 28, all of Madison -- were arrested last week on tentative charges of helping to dispose of Payne’s body. Elmer and Rudy Alberto are brothers.

Authorities said they have recovered key pieces of evidence, including Payne’s shoes, since the first arrests.

Payne was working as a drug informant for the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation and had reported buying cocaine from Ramirez-Milan two times over several weeks at the Acker Road address, according to the criminal complaint. Ramirez-Milan was charged last week with two felony counts of manufacturing/delivering cocaine in connection with two March incidents.

Authorities said Payne was living in his black BMW 528i on the Acker Road property with Ramirez-Milan’s permission, and that they had a “tumultuous relationship” but do not believe the suspect knew of Payne’s drug informant work.


We would like to thank The Star for permission to reprint this article.