Hamilton man charged with killing girlfriend loses motion for a second autopsy

Prosecutor: Victim was stabbed 55 times.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A judge has denied a Hamilton man’s motion to exhume the body of his longtime girlfriend that he is accused of killing to have a second autopsy performed.

Toby Madden was in Butler County Common Pleas Court on Thursday for a hearing on the unusual legal motion. The 50-year-old man is accused of stabbing Rachelle Brewsaugh to death at their Parrish Avenue home.

The motion filed in April by defense attorney David Washington states Madden “believes the initial autopsy that was performed was inaccurate and inadequate.”

Washington said he could not comment on why the request was made but said his client is “adamant” about it.

Madden was indicted in December by a Butler County grand jury for murder and felonious assault in the Oct. 11, 2022, slaying of Brewsaugh. He is held in the Butler County Jail in lieu of a $1 million bond.

Brewsaugh, 50, was found dead inside the home in the 1200 block of Parrish Avenue. According to court documents, she was stabbed more than 50 times.

Assistant Butler County Prosecutor Brad Burress said in opposition to Brewsaugh’s exhumation and further autopsy that Dr. Russell Uptegrove, the pathologist who performed the autopsy for the Butler County Coroner’s Office, determined the woman died of multiple stab wounds.

Uptegrove found approximately 55 wounds to Brewsaugh’s head, chest and abdomen, including puncture wounds to the heart, according to court documents. Brewsaugh did not have any drugs in her system at the time of her death.

“The cause of death is not a mystery and all ordering a second autopsy does is continue to victimize Rachelle Brewsaugh,” Burress wrote in the response to the defendant’s motion.

Burress noted Madden offered no reasons why he alleged Uptegrove’s autopsy is inaccurate and inadequate.

Judge Jennifer McElfresh denied Madden’s motion following the hearing.

Madden was booked into the Butler County Jail on a drug charge just hours after Brewsaugh was found dead. He has remained behind bars in lieu of a $150,000 bond on the drug charge. The drug case pending before Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Stephens accuses Madden of being in possession of methamphetamine about a month before the fatal stabbing.

In recent months, Madden has taken issue with two defense attorneys, one he hired and the other court-appointed. He protested both in hand-written letters to McElfresh.

Both attorneys were permitted to withdraw and Washington was appointed last month.

On Thursday, Washington also filed a motion to withdraw from the case stating “there are irreconcilable differences and conflicts which will not allow counsel to continue to represent this defendant.”

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Brewsaugh was on the floor when Hamilton police officers responded to the house where neighbors and family members said she and Madden had recently moved in.

A next-door neighbor called 911, and the woman told the dispatchers a man came running out of his house screaming and said he thought his partner was dead in bed.

“He’s screaming hysterically,” she said in the call.

The man could be heard in the background saying, “Oh God, oh God, oh God,” at the time of the 911 call.

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