The 23-year-old Stratford man who fatally stabbed two brothers at his family’s home was convicted Tuesday on two counts of first-degree intentional homicide, charges that carry a mandatory life sentence.
Brandon D. Noll appeared Monday in Marathon County Circuit Court for a plea hearing in connection with the deaths of 23-year-old Michael L. Stone and 19-year-old William R. Stone. During a hearing, Noll pleaded guilty to both counts of homicide. Charges of operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent and fleeing an officer were dismissed, but read into the record.
Michael Stone and William Stone were brothers and were Noll’s stepbrothers. Both young men were remembered in their joint obituary as beloved family members with bold dreams for the future. Mike Stone, a young man with a big heart for animals who graduated in 2014 from Stratford High School, was an aspiring graphic artist who was learning and planning how to freelance his craft. Will Stone, a 2018 Stratford High graduate, earned a full scholarship and went on to receive an associates degree in accounting. He was an avid blood donor and was working toward a bachelor’s degree, according to the brothers’ joint obituary.
Police were called the morning of April 7, 2020 to a home at 121625 CTH P in the town of Cleveland, near Stratford. When deputies arrived at the scene they found Jason Noll, then 24, at the door, pleading for help. When officers entered the home, they found William Stone lying in the breezeway with abdominal injuries. He was taken to Marshfield Medical Center for treatment but died hours later of his injuries, police said.
Michael Stone was found in the basement. The Marathon County Medical Examiner pronounced him dead at the scene.
Police say Brandon Noll fled from the home and led officers in marked vehicles on a pursuit with lights and sirens activated. That pursuit ended with police forcing Noll’s vehicle off the road, and the suspect was taken into custody.
In an interview with detectives, Brandon Noll, who lived at the home, said he began planning to kill the victims the week prior to their deaths. He considered using his father’s firearm but chose a knife from a kitchen drawer instead – “because it’s quiet,” according to a prosecutor’s statement.
Brandon Noll told detectives he hid behind a partition in the basement where Michael Stone was playing video games and stabbed him in the chest, prosecutors said. William Stone was stabbed after hearing the noise of the first attack and coming to his brother’s aid. He fled up the stairs.
Police say the killings were planned. The suspect told detectives he “wanted to kill someone for his whole life and today felt like the day he would do it” and wanted to see how it felt to kill someone, prosecutors said.
In Wisconsin, first-degree intentional homicide carries a mandatory life sentence, but judges have discretion to set dates for offenders to be eligible for release to extended supervision after a minimum of 20 years. Those decisions are made at sentencing.
Circuit Judge Mike Moran, who presided over Monday’s sentencing, ordered a presentencing investigation to be completed within 90 days. A date for sentencing has not yet been set.