A Lodi woman was set to plea in the 2018 beating death of her boyfriend, but a Dane County Circuit Court judge refused to accept the plea.

During an Oct. 2 sentencing hearing, McKayla Tracy, 21, couldn’t agree on the facts of the plea as Dane County Circuit Court Judge Susan M. Crawford questioned her on incidents that led to the Oct. 30, 2018, death of Waunakee High School graduate Dalton Ziegler.

Tracy is charged with felony murder-party to a crime.

According to the criminal complaint, Tracy reportedly thought that Ziegler was cheating on her with a girl attending a party at their house. Tracy called up Jacob A. Johnson of Sun Prairie and Drew A. Luber of DeForest to the Hwy. 113 Town of Dane house the two shared so they could confront Ziegler. After breaking down a bedroom door, Johnson struck Ziegler repeatedly in the face, until he saw blood pouring from his nose, while Luber restrained Ziegler so he couldn’t defend himself. Tracy, Johnson and Luber then stole money and a credit card from Ziegler and left the severely injured Ziegler to die, according to law enforcement.

The two men pleaded guilty last month to felony murder-party to a crime in connection. Johnson, age 25, was sentenced to seven years in prison and Luber, age 22, was given a six-year prison sentence.

Judge Crawford set out to establish a factual basis with Tracy for the crime during last week’s sentencing hearing outlining the details of the criminal complaint. But after objections from Defense attorney Catherine Dorl on behalf of her client, Tracy, the judge refused to accept Tracy’s plea.

Crawford adjourned the proceedings for both parties to discuss the case. A January 2020 jury trial remains on the Dane County Circuit Court calendar.

Tracy remains in custody at the Dane County Jail on a $50,000 cash bond.

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