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Wagner Murder Suspect Arrested

February 25, 2008, 6:08 PM by Lou Raguse

A party in Wagner that lasted well into Sunday morning ended with one man dead, a woman in the hospital, and another man charged with murder. 

Steve Cournoyer III, of Marty, is accusing of beating both 47-year-old Michael Costello and 42-year-old Tamara Bruguier with a baseball bat. 

He's charged with murder and attempted murder, thanks to several witnesses who talked to police and surveilence video that left only one conclusion. Neighbors call the killing a result of drunken jealousy.

At the tail end of an apartment drinking party, only one of the last three partiers walked on on his own accord. And, according the court documents, surveillance video reveals that person to be Steve Cournoyer, III carrying a bloody baseball bat. 

"This is an alcoholic thing. Some people can't get away from it. It causes some people to do stuff they weren't supposed to do," says neighbor Wesley Garneaus, who called all three people friends.

He says Michael Costello and Tamara Bruguier, the two people left lying inside the apartment, were dating. 

Lou Raguse: How long were they seeing each other? 

Garneaus: About a week or so. 

Raguse: That's it? 

Garneaus: Yeah. And this guy Steve, they'd been going out a year or so before that. 

Garneaus says Cornoyer was Bruguier's ex-boyfriend. 

"That's how it happened, I guess. He got mad," Gearneau says.

According to court papers, at least two witnesses told police Cournoyer admitted to them he beat Costello and Bruguier with a baseball bat. One of them even claims they saw the bloody bat. 

Investigators say after confronting with surveilence video, Cournoyer admitted leaving the apartment carrying a bat. Leaving him as the one authorities believe committed a crime friends didn't see coming. 

"He's a pretty good guy. Some people change whenever they drink," Garneaus says.

Bruguier is in a Sioux City hospital in critical condition with serious head injuries. 

According to court documents, Cournoyer's side of the story is that he saw two people leave the apartment carrying a bloody lead pipe. 

He's in jail now on a 1-million dollar bond.

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