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  • palinbigbazzoo palinbigbazzoo Apr 11, 2013 10:29 AM Flag

    Bible Thumpin' Drunk Murders Innocent Woman

    The bishop who leads 145 Lutheran congregations in south-central Wisconsin remained Monday in Dane County Jail on allegations that he drove drunk and killed a 52-year-old Sun Prairie mother of three who was on a training run.

    The Rev. Bruce H. Burnside, 59, of Madison was arrested Sunday on allegations of hitting Maureen F. Mengelt at the northbound exit ramp of Highway 151 at Windsor St. in Sun Prairie. Mengelt was taken by ambulance to St. Mary's Hospital in Sun Prairie, where she died from her injuries, police said.

    Kevin Mengelt said Monday that his wife, an avid runner, was preparing for the Syttende Mai 20-mile race in May in Stoughton, which she had run more than 20 times. The couple have three children: Megan, Andrew and Allyson.

    She was a former City of Madison police officer and teacher who became a full-time mother after the birth of the couple's daughter almost 20 years ago.

    "She said her career could wait un til the kids were out of the house," he said, adding that she was planning on working or volunteering at the day care of an athletic club where she previously worked.

    "She said she wanted to hold babies," he said. "She loved to hold babies."

    Officers arrested Burnside on suspicion of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle, Sun Prairie police said. He remained in jail Monday on suspicion of two charges: hit-and-run causing death and homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle. No bail was set and Burnside did not appear before a judge Monday. He could be in court as early as Tuesday.

    Burnside serves as bishop of the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin, part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. As bishop, Burnside is the pastoral and administrative leader of the South-Central Synod, which includes the Madison area.

    The Rev. Blake Rohrer, assistant to the bishop, said Monday that synod staff and the executive committee are handling day-to-day ministry and functions.

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