- Views & Opinions
A Cross Plains man says he can help law enforcement in the investigation of the 2008 killing of college student Brittany Zimmermann, but in exchange he wants a presidential pardon and the return of 19 guns confiscated more than two years ago.
Andrew J. Scoles has told authorities that David A. Kahl, a former roommate identified as a suspect in the Zimmermann case, told him details of the day the University of Wisconsin senior died.
However, Scoles has refused to say more without a deal, according to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal.
The newspaper said Scoles wants two felony convictions expunged from his record — a 2010 conviction for marijuana and a 2014 federal conviction for possession of firearms as a felon.
To expunge the federal conviction, Scoles would need to win a presidential pardon, the State Journal reported.
Zimmermann, 21, was killed in her downtown apartment April 2, 2008.
Kahl is imprisoned at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, where he is serving time for his seventh conviction for driving under the influence.
Kahl has told authorities that he encountered Zimmermann the day she died, because he and two other men — identified as “Hank” and “Mitchell” — were looking for money to buy drugs in her neighborhood.
Scoles, 38, has recently repeated a claim he made Dec. 17, 2014, while serving time at Gilmer Federal Correctional Institution in West Virginia.
According to a search warrant, Scoles told a Madison police detective in 2014 that he and Kahl were as close as brothers.
According to Scoles, Kahl “broke down in tears one morning and confessed to me what all happened, if I can remember right. Hypothetically he broke down and told me what all happened,” the State Journal reported.
Scoles has declined to say more “without getting some deal that would benefit him in exchange.”
Scoles was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison, followed by a three-year term of supervised release for unlawful possession of firearms as a felon.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Scoles purchased two boxes of Weatherby .300 Magnum ammunition, on Dec. 22, 2013.
At the time, he was on probation in Green County for misdemeanor convictions and under a domestic abuse injunction, which prohibited him from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law.
A search of Scoles’ residence Jan. 22, 2014, uncovered 19 firearms and several hundred rounds of ammunition.
Earlier this month, Scoles appeared in Dane County Circuit Court on a state charge of possessing a gun as a felon.
Zimmermann’s mother said she urged Scoles — and anyone else with information possibly related to the 2008 killing — to talk with authorities.
“If anyone, including Mr. Scoles, has information regarding the person or persons who took Brittany’s life, they need to do what is right and contact the Madison Police Department,” said Jean Zimmermann.
“Mr. Scoles states that he is a ‘good person.’ If that were the case, he would have come forward with the information that David Kahl (allegedly) shared with him and that would be the first step in the president granting him his pardon.”
The Madison Police Department will not comment on an open investigation.
Scoles was not reached for comment.
There is a $40,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in Zimmermann’s death.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers, 608-266-6014 or madisonareacrimestoppers.org.
The AP contributed to this story.