WKEB Local News

Carlson Charged in Bonney's Death

Carlson Charged in Bonney's Death  Wednesday, January 24, 2024


  A 37-year-old man has been charged with first degree intentional homicide after his roommate was found strangled to death at a Taylor County mental health facility in January. 

  Cory Carlson, 37, faces first degree intentional homicide and strangulation and suffocation charges maximum penalty which carries potential life in prison sentence. 

  Carlson address is now listed as Winnebago Mental Health Institute in Oshkosh. 

  Carlson’s criminal complaint detailed why investigators say he’s responsible for the death of Joseph Bonney.


  On Sunday, January 14th at 1:47 p.m., the Taylor County Sheriff's Office received a call from a staff member at Almost Home Again residential mental health facility on Elder Drive in the town of Aurora for an unconscious and unresponsive man.

    When EMS arrived, the subject was pronounced dead just 20 minutes after the 911 call. The deceased man was 61 year old Joseph B. Bonney. Bonney was dead in his room at the facility. 

    There were clear signs Bonney died from asphyxiation according to the criminal complaint. Bonney's roommate at the facility was Cory Carlson who reported Bonney condition to staff.

   Bonney was found with Twizzlers candy on his nightstand and one on his lips. Staff and detectives thought it odd in a strangulation for one still be on his lips because of the nature of that crime and because Bonney never was seen eating candy. 

   Investigators said the scene appeared to be staged to make it look as if Bonney died in his sleep while eating licorice. There was nothing like candy or anything blocking Bonney's airways but clear signs of strangulation.   Autopsy reports showed no licorice was found in his stomach. 


  Carlson had many issues recently with his mental health, the complaint said. He made statements "that he was having bad thoughts," "hearing voices" and was walking outside in subzero temperatures without shoes or a jacket against staff's wishes. 

  The complaint also said:

  Carlson said he was hearing voices. He couldn’t believe he listened to them, but he did. Carlson said he didn’t remember exactly what he did. 

  Carlson said he was having delusions at the time and didn't know what was going on. 

  Carlson was asked about scratches on his back. Carlson stated he scratches his back in his sleep.


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